Ashwini Bhat & Forrest Gander: Ritual Encounters

The sculptures of Ashwini Bhat and poetry of Forrest Gander are displayed in a art gallery space.

Event Date

Vanderhoef Studio Theatre, Mondavi Center, UC Davis

In Ritual Encounters the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre is reconfigured as a kind of temple that celebrates the secular, sacred environment of Mount Tamalpais. Visitors to this installation are invited to circle in a ritual walk ceramic monuments and biomorphic sculptures that are ringed by dirt mandalas that are themselves edged with hems (hymns) of words. Through immersion in video, sculpture, poetry, and the clockwise movement of their own bodies through the exhibition, viewers can experience (or recall) their own link to the non-human world, and to reevaluate the ground they stand upon, both physically and ethically. 

Ritual Encounters is the work of artists Ashwini Bhat and Forrest Gander. Bhat’s background is in literature and classical Indian dance, but she now works at the intersection of sculpture, ceramics, installation and performance. Gander is a writer and translator of poets from Spain, Latin America and Japan. His recent work includes the Pulitzer Prize-winning Be With.  

Visitors can experience Ritual Encounters from Friday, April 15 to May 6 in the Mondavi Center's Vanderhoef Studio Theatre. The experience will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturdays. 

The installation will open on Friday, April 15 with an event from 7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Ashwini Bhat and Forrest Gander will be on hand to speak and share poetry. This event will be free to attend. The artists will make a final appearance on April 28th at 7:30pm. This is also a free event.

This event is associated with the SHAPE course Problem Solving: How to Respond to the World in a Time of Crisis, co-taught by professors Katie Peterson and Meera Heller.