But from where does this come, this
joyousness, this blithe spirit? It has to be rooted
in Radhakrishnan himself. Whatever the source of his
inspiration, without this childlike quality within him,
his sculptures could not soar. The stodginess of the
‘grown up' human being would hold back the free
spirit. That he has been able to hold on to this innocence
of the child, is in itself, a feat to be commended.
To transform that into his work is a gift that we wonder
at, and are able to enjoy at the same time.
To try and categorise Radhakrishnan's work would be
insulting. To attempt to encapsulate talent or genius
is to limit the man and his work. But we must look back
(and forward) to Masui and Maiya. Masui, a Santhal boy
who was a model for Radhakrishnan in Santineketan, has
mutated from his human form, lithe, long limbed, smiling,
into an idea, a spark to ignite inspiration. He has
changed in everyway, except in his lightness of body
and of spirit. It is only fitting that Radhakrishnan
created for him a Maiya, female, young, oozing a sexuality
that she seems not aware of, or, if she is aware, then
not bound by it. Instead she complements Masui as much
as she is his opposite. Together they are complete,
a whole Universe, in their ability to be gods or children,
or both, for isn't there a purity in both.
Then there are his boxes, and his ramps. Both have
moved away from the individual into a portrayal of the
world. In his boxes he talks of migration into new cities,
new worlds, struggle, an ant-hill of humans with their
hopes and failures, their clinging on and falling off.
Each separate figure in a child's moulding, each completed
piece a work of art, sophisticated in thought as well
as in its interpretation.
The ramp portrays a Saint, a Rishi, Buddha, still immutable
and around him a pygmy world at his feet, continuing
with its daily tasks. Or is it a pygmy world dancing
the dance of life, worshipful and profane, like all
Like a yogi levitating, there is Radhakrishnan and
his work. Freeing himself of his earthly base materials,
he is stretching his imagination into new heights, different
directions, and following them there, is his expertise
with his material. And yet, in the necessary business
of linking his mind with his hand, of portraying what
his mind's eye sees, he is paradoxically doing the opposite
of Alchemy – turning an idea into metal.