"In India, every year, I see many Hindus celebrating Ganapati (the Elephant God, a symbol of wisdom) and Durga Puja (a symbol of power and triumph of good over evil) festivals. The idols of these gods are sculpted from mud and clay from riverbanks or abandoned land. The statues of the gods are made in different sizes and decorated with vivid bright colors and ornaments. After the festival, they are immersed in the sea or a river. The Durga statue is specifically made out of clay and mud from prostitute’s houses. As an adult I have come to see these events as a beautification of things we keep away from our civilization, an honouring of things we do not usually respect."
In his most recent work Mahadeshwar has been researching London's manhole covers and sewerage system. The history of these manhole covers led him to explore industrialization, modern civilization, design movements of the 19th century and the universal problem of pollution. Spiritual and cultural connections between London and the river Thames became evident. He suggests the polluted mud of the Thames is a type of utopia as everybody’s dirt, despite different beliefs and backgrounds, ends up deposited there.
Mahadeshwar chose eight locations on the Thames riverbank to collect mud for his installation, Yantra. Richmond, Hammersmith, Wandsworth Park, Putney Bridge, Pimlico, Cuttysark, Thames Barrier Park. Although the chosen locations are in one city and situated on the same river, these eight locations differ visibly by the locality settled on the riverbank, town planning, and style of the buildings. Even the color and texture of the mud and soil on the riverbanks is different from place to place, and the things deposited from the sewers shows subdivisions of economical power in London’s population.
The mud contains various things such as; boiled rice, wheat flakes, wheat floor, tomatoes, apple, banana, bread, eggs, salt, sugar, spices, wine, beer, soap, shampoo, milk, tea, coffee, shaving cream, lipstick, makeup foundation, Pepsi, Coke, dried leaves, free newspapers from the Tube, cheap jam and breads from the super markets, cement, plaster of paris, holy water from the Hindu temple ‘Tirth’, and also the holy water from the river Ganga.