Shrines and Houses

Regardless of scale, each sculpture is charged with a cerebral resonance that lingers long after the initial encounter, as is clear in such pieces as Shrine of Great Zimbabwe, Ancestral Spirit Houses and A Ceremony in Silence. Haunting the viewer with a hallowed aura, these works sustain an austere beauty and consummate integrity, not often found in contemporary art of the moment. In fact, Ramsaran could be construed as unorthodox since her sculpture goes against the “grain” in these days where so many visual encounters resolutely challenge the viewer into a dissonant dialogue that ponders life at the end of this millennium with understandable outrage and passion, but without aesthetics as a paramount prerequisite. Instead, because of its metaphysical nature, Ramsaran’s sculpture renders a profoundly personal and intellectual experience that demands time and contemplation from the viewer, as it transports one into a magical, supernatural reality………Trinkett Clark, Curator of Twentieth-CenturyArt, Chrysler Museum, catalogue essay.

While the shrines are not intended to be specifically architectonic in nature, there is an unequivocal sense of enclosure and shelter in each of them. In A Woman’s Shrine and Shrine With the Flaming Windows, Ramsaran suggests the external/physical and the internal/metaphysical function of the shrine, indicating an actual space in which one enters, and an area inside that is meant for reflection and refuge.

Two recent works, Houses of Refuge and Ancestral Spirit Houses are less abstract and reveal the artist’s knowledge of the earthen architecture found in Africa, Central America and the southwestern United States. At the same time, these works are firmly rooted in this century as they, albeit unconsciously, pay tribute to the work of David Smith, Jacques Lipchitz and Julio Gonzales through their composition and treatment of mass and void…..Trinkett Clark, Curator of Twentieth Century Art, Chrysler Museum, catalogue essay.