Public Presentation by Dr. Lisa Owen

Lisa Owen public lecture

Carving as an Additive Process? How Southern Indian Rock-Reliefs Make Meaning

A Public Lecture by Dr. Lisa Owen, Associate Professor of Art History
Join us to hear about Dr. Owen's latest research on Indian sculpture.

Thursday, January 31st

ART 258

A number of early medieval sites across southern India exhibit not only structural and rock-cut temples, but also relief carvings of deities incised into neighboring rock faces or natural boulders. These carvings— or "rock-reliefs"—create a power of place and contribute to a site's sacred landscape. While Dr. Owen's current work on rock-reliefs explores how these carvings might function in devotional practices, for this lecture she investigates how they make meaning as relief carvings. The paper will focus on a series of rock-reliefs carved on a single, colossal boulder at the site of Badami. The rock-reliefs on this boulder present a layering of imagery—forms carved over earlier forms. As such, the subtractive process can be thought of as an additive one. The superimposition of imagery not only assists us in understanding creative processes, but invites us to consider how meaning might be made through their collective traces.