Uday Singh's ceramic cow

The 2021 Patron program has now concluded. Join us for IOTA24!

COVID-19 significantly impacted artisans of the Indian Ocean Rim. IOTA21 Patrons supported the livelihoods of skilled craftspeople and secured their participation at IOTA21 - in a number of ways: through pre-purchasing a ceramic cow by Uday Singh, by donating tax-deductible funds and by volunteering time. Thank you.

You can sponsor the creation and presentation of an artisan’s work in IOTA24 (e.g. from India, Kenya, South Africa or Malaysia), donate your time and expertise or simply make a donation via the Australian Cultural Fund.

Contact us today to find out how you can assist.

The following content is from the IOTA21 Patron's campaign.

Two of Uday Singh's cows in a sitting room

Join us on a journey of craft – support an artisan by pre-ordering a uniquely crafted object for IOTA21: the Indian Ocean Craft Triennial.

The stories of our times, told through the medium of craft practices, will be centre stage as IOTA21 celebrates the creative thinker and maker in all of us.

You can play a role in this exciting journey

Support Uday Singh, a ceramicist and technician, based at Art Ichol in Madhya Pradesh, India. He is known for his highly collectable, sculpted clay cows and for facilitating other ceramic artists’ residencies at the centre. His deep understanding of natural materials and animal forms is firmly based in his background as a farmer. With no two figurines alike, Uday imbues each of his cows with its own personality, poise and decorative features.

Uday Singh plans to make a herd of 50 cows to create a procession at the IOTA21 exhibition at John Curtin Gallery. With your support he can make this happen.

For a contribution of $495 you will receive one of Uday Singh’s beautifully crafted ceramics to add to or to start your collection. This will grant you the grand title of ‘IOTA21 Patron’ – as an important contributor to the first Indian Ocean Craft Triennial, but more importantly supporting an artisan to continue his craft and make a living.

Read on for more info about Uday, his cows, how to order your cow and the added benefits.

Contribute $495 to receive the following Patron benefits:

  1. Become the proud owner of one of Uday Singh’s specially created and singular cows, handcrafted in India and carefully packaged and freighted to John Curtin Gallery.
  2. Invitation to the exclusive VIP preview when you will be united with your cow and be among the first to view the IOTA21 exhibition at John Curtin Gallery, before the doors open to the public, on Thursday 9 September (exact time and date to be advised).
  3. Complimentary IOTA21 exhibition catalogue (*excl. P&P).
  4. Recognition as an IOTA Patron in the IOTA catalogue (unless you choose to be anonymous).
  5. Knowledge that you have supported the livelihood of a talented artisan.

Holy cow! How does it work?

  1. Buy your ticket for a cow via Eventbrite.
  2. Choose to pay $495 ‘by invoice’ or credit card/paypal (this will includes GST and ticketing fees).
  3. At the VIP Preview draw a number (1-50) to be united with your mystery cow, handcrafted by Uday Singh. If you cannot attend, your number will be drawn at random, and you will be sent an email with an image of your cow.
  4. You will be notified of your cow collection date at the end of the exhibition or have delivery arranged (note: packaging and postage are extra).

The Humble Cow as Central to Human Adaptation

Farming and the cow are central to economic success stories around the world. The humble cow plays an indispensable role not only in nutrition, but in wealth creation, belief systems, and rituals across many cultures.

In India, the cow is sacred but not worshipped as a God. Its sacred status derives from its ability to sustain human life with every part of its being; such as providing nourishing milk and dried dung, which is used as a smokeless fuel source for heating and cooking.

Cow dung, when mixed with clay and used as plaster over walls and floors, provides insulation against heat and cold, with the added benefit of being a natural insect repellent. It also becomes a thing of beauty when mixed with other ingredients to create decorative relief patterns on the walls of villagers’ homes.

The daily, ritualistic collection of milk and dung is a reminder that in everyday life there is no division between the spiritual and the temporal. This pattern of reverence is seen throughout many cultures around the world.

The Fine Print

  • Limited to 50 ceramic cow figurines, unique and individually crafted by Indian artisan Uday Singh.
  • Each clay and glazed cow’s dimensions range roughly between 20-25cm high, 20-30cm long; 8-15cm deep; and weigh 1-1.5kg; postures, expressions, glazes and decoration vary.
  • Patrons can purchase multiple figurines – no two are alike.
  • Patrons will first view their cow when on display as part of the IOTA21 exhibition at John Curtin Gallery in September 2021.
  • Collection will be at the close of the exhibition. Cows cannot be collected prior to end of exhibition.
  • No refunds. No returns. However, feel free to barter with your fellow IOTA Patrons.