A native of Hyderabad, Usha Garodia, an award winning and acclaimed ceramic artist is hosting her second solo show in the city, the first one dating back to 1984.
Titled ‘A Kaleidoscope, Beyond The Horizon,’ the exhibition has a lot to choose from: bright hues to underplayed colours, wall decorators to tea-pots, and even a few fountains.
Speaking about what inspires her to continue even after having worked for 30 long years, she says, “I love working on each piece. The transformation from clay to a final design is amazing and the satisfaction it gives is beyond description. I can’t survive if I stop working on them, it has become an inseparable part of my life.”
Ask her about the toughest aspect of her work, pat comes the reply, sourcing of raw materials. “Unfortunately, nothing is available off the shelf unlike in the West where everything is so easily available.”
“Even if I want to, I can’t replicate a piece, each one is unique,” says Usha. Once a piece gets into the kiln, it is impossible to predict the shade of the colour which will finally appear, she explains. There is an exclusive dining-set in the exhibition inspired by nature. Each plate or cup or serving bowl has a different pattern on it. Although the basic theme is same, the colour of a leaf on one plate is jet black and on the other is a beautiful mixture of grey and black.
“It is not intentional, but this trait is what makes the art more interesting and unique,” she smiles.
Although Usha’s evergreen inspiration comes from nature, she is immensely influenced by the legendary painter MF Hussain too. There are quite a few artifacts at the exhibition that show this: the depiction of Maha Shakti, Vishnu, Ganesh, Saraswati and the quintessential Krishna with the flute.
The concept of studio pottery is gaining ground finally, says Usha. “There is a lot happening in art scene; for instance the Delhi Blue Pottery Trust where they conduct regular programmes, invite potters from across the world.”
In 1984, she recollects, people would not come forward to buy unique ceramic art pieces even though they were being sold for `100 to `150. There is a tremendous change in market and one of a kind creations seem to have found their own niche customers.
“Ceramics have overtime evolved into another art form, and people are willing to pay a good amount to own them,” says Usha whose works are priced between `1,000 to `90,000.
About the demand for her works in Hyderabad, Usha says, she honestly has not got a clear idea yet. “I can tell you only once the exhibition is over.”
Usha Garodia’s ceramic arts will be available at Kalakriti Art Gallery in Banjara Hills till February 10. She also takes custom orders; you can contact her at email@example.com.