Saturday, May 20, 2006

 

Life in technicolor: a dispatch from Bob Ebendorf

May I first introduce myself. My name is Robert Ebendorf. I am a professor at ECU in the School of Art and Design. It was such a gift to have Dr. Derek Maher ask if I would like to join his group to be part of this odyssey to India. Many of us have never before had the opportunity to experience this cultural enrichment. Today in our global community, the world of communication and education are truly one of the ways not only to enrich oneself but to bring about understanding and harmony between people. Let me share with you a few of my first impressions and experiences upon arrival in New Delhi, India.

It has been interesting to experience the unfolding of the tapestry that Dr. Maher prepared for us in our initial meetings during the months before our departure. Perhaps some of the things that I would like to share with you at this moment come from my background of being a jeweler and working with small details, measurements, use of color, design and form along with problem solving. We all have spent many hours walking and exploring Pahar Ganj, the district where our hotel is located. It is truly a 24 hour circus of people, sounds, smells and motion. There are stalls and vendors on both sides of the narrow streets with a river of people, cows, bicycles, motorbikes, dogs and children coming and going. I have found it interesting to view the many shops and open air stalls along the walkways. The vendors might display a selection of padlocks and keys, not one example, but perhaps 50 of different sizes and various metals. The next woman will be sitting with a table of vegetables arranged in a unique design layout while the following will display a collection of wristwatches and pocket watches while another proves that the watches are waterproof by having them immersed in yellow plastic tubs with 5 inches of water. Then there will be a man and a young boy offering a selection of food that they are preparing using charcoal for heat. At the same time, if you are not careful you could very easily be run over by a Vespa or a three wheeled autorickshaw or run into a cow.

The way that I view all of this is from my personal visual perceptive, the multitude of colors, shapes and forms in the many stalls in many ways become a Jasper Johns painting or a contemporary textile weaving. If one were to look up and examine the electrical wires moving from pole to pole or building corner to building corner the craziness of the wires looping, being tied on, dangling, tied back on become a graphic line drawing. This mixture of humanity, energy and colors become a vortex that draws me in. It has truly been for me a gift to be here in the moment and experiencing India and her people with their many fascinating component parts. We have just begun and I am sure that there are many experiences yet to unfold that will enrich my life both creatively and spiritually.

Comments:
My god, Professor! Please don't get run over by a vespa, autorickshaw or cow as you alluded to. Or Elephant for that matter! Thanks for the dispatch. Keep writing.
 
Ebsy, that was a lovely posting. I copied and pasted it into an email, tossed in a few of the photos from the blog, and forwarded it on to the usual suspects, including Horne, Harvey, Uncle Nut and etcetry. Wahl can pass his copy along to Denise.
I'm happy to hear that you're having a swell time. Me and the ceegars and single malt send our warmest greetings to you and your bride. The porch is a cultural desert without you.
 
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