I have always lived in Delhi. I enjoy the city for its never-dying energy and buzz. The city also gives an unmatchable access to some of the best art events. Delhi probably has the highest number of galleries that bring state-of-the-art shows of modern and contemporary artists to the city. Museums like Kiran Nadar Museum of Art and the National Museum are a visual treat. And the India Art Fair that boasts to be on the international culture map is an annual festival not to be missed.
Like each of us, I also had things to say and emotions to express. I feel lucky that clay found me and it became my chosen medium. I feel ceramics is one medium that needs the creator to be fully involved – physically, mentally, and emotionally. It does require one to be working with clay and getting your hands dirty! Literally! As a child, I had never imagined being a potter as art was not considered a career option that could earn a living. Although I was encouraged to explore my creativity, focused formal education was always the top priority.
But the metro city of Delhi has always been the perfect inspiration for me.
And like most ceramists, I started off my training with making utilitarian works. This philosophy of making pottery has been highly influenced by the traditional Indian concept—to produce pots that have a function.
Besides, living in Delhi does offer its share of challenges, especially for a ceramist. No access to standardised equipment and material/chemicals is the biggest issue one has to deal with. Ceramic studios require paraphernalia and therefore larger space for it. Rationed supply of LPG gas is very limited to operate the kiln on a regular-basis.
But what remains encouraging is the increasing interest in clay art. Organisations like Delhi Blue Pottery have contributed immensely to build appreciation for hand-made ceramics. I feel ceramics has a long way to go when compared to distant cousins like painting, but more galleries are interested in showing ceramic art and most often, shows get lots of viewers and buyers for the works. So, it feels we are headed in the right direction.