Moulding art: K Muralidhar's innovative clay relief art gains popularity across India

Muralidhar’s clay has been a huge success as it can be easily molded into any form or shape.
 K Muralidhar
K Muralidhar(Photo | Express)

HYDERABAD : The painting on the canvas looks like a normal acrylic painting at first glance, upon closer inspection, it reveals itself as a 3D creation made by combining clay and canvas — clay relief work. This innovative art form is the work of K Muralidhar, an artist with over 30 years of experience. Muralidhar has explored many mediums throughout his career and even developed his own unique type of clay, known as Muralidhar’s Clay, to enhance his art.

Graduated from JNTU, this 67-year-old artist has won numerous accolades at various art events. He has worked both commercially and as a dedicated professional artist, covering all areas of oil painting, murals, sculptures, pottery, clay paintings, resin art, and other decorative items. Muralidhar was also the R&D specialist at a Greeting Cards company and re-establishing his own art studio.

Although he excels in various art forms such as oil paintings, abstract paintings, decorative clay art, sculptures, murals, and reproductions of famous artists’ works, he specialises in clay art. He uses a special eco-friendly clay that he invented.

Talking about the clay, he said, “Since my school days, I was immersed in art and have participated in many group shows, solo shows, and art camps throughout the years. I used to create new works in art and sculpture. In 2001, after experimenting for six months, I developed a special clay. This special clay is a mixture of recycled material which is very soft, light in weight, antifungal, and does not require baking. Previously, relief works were made out of cement, POP, fiberglass, etc., which is harmful. My clay is non-toxic and very easy to use. With this clay, any artist with little skill can easily make relief art or sculptures. After it dries, no cracks form, and it can be directly painted upon with any paint.”

Muralidhar’s clay has been a huge success as it can be easily molded into any form or shape. Many institutions and individuals have purchased this clay from him for their 3D paintings and sculptures. He has used this clay and medium of relief art in various ways. This clay can give art a 3D effect — an embossed look, making the picture come to life. It can be used on any surface, such as regular canvas, bottles, PVC pipes, pearl pets, and thermocol sheets of any size. Some of his known works include The Seven Wonders of the World, The Golkonda Fort, Rajasthani paintings, landscapes, and many more in 3D effect. “For me, this medium is important as it is my attempt to create without destruction. I try to transform any waste material into beautiful art pieces that are not harmful to the environment.”

With the growing demand for this art and art lovers’ interest in learning his techniques, he started art classes with his special clay. He has conducted workshops in almost all states. In his 20-years of teaching journey, nearly more than 2,000 students have learned this innovative art, and most of them are teaching it professionally. Recently, he conducted a workshop for blind children. He aspires to spread his knowledge of this art to anyone interested in learning through “Muralidhar Art Studio.”

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