Step into a world where art meets earth, where the past fuses with the future, and where clay becomes a canvas for creativity. Before the rendezvous at the Indian Ceramics Triennale 2024, set to open its doors on January 19, 2024, at Arthshila, Okhla in New Delhi, we invite you to its much-anticipated curtain raiser the epicenter of the future of ceramics.
This special spectacle will begin with the Managing Trustee and Honorary Director, Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Tasneem Zakaria Mehta’s welcome address, followed by CEO, Avid Learning and Curator, Royal Opera House Asad Lalljee making the opening remarks. Tasneem Zakaria Mehta will then deliver a keynote address introducing the attendees to the history of Bombay School Pottery from the museum’s collection. Co-Curators, Indian Ceramics Triennale 2024 Anjani Khanna and Sharbani Das Gupta will provide a glimpse of the programming of the forthcoming edition, accompanied by a film on the work of some of the participating artists, who will then be in an engrossing conversation with Editor, Art India Magazine Abhay Sardesai. This dialogue will expand globally with the participation of British practitioners from the Ceramics Research Centre at the University of Westminster in conversation with Artist and Co-Curator, Indian Ceramics Triennale 2024 Madhvi Subrahmanian.
Join us for this extraordinary evening and witness the magic of clay whispering secrets and art coming to life.
Tasneem Zakaria Mehta is an art historian, curator, designer, conservationist, and cultural activist. She is the Managing Trustee and Director of Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai and former Vice Chairman and Mumbai Convenor of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH). She has successfully pioneered the revival and restoration of several cultural sites in Mumbai. She conceptualized, curated, designed, and implemented the restoration and revitalization of the Museum, which won UNESCO’s 2005 Asia Pacific Award of Excellence for Cultural Restoration. She has written and edited several articles and books on art and culture. Her latest book – ‘Mumbai- A City Through Objects’, 101 stories from the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum' was co-published by Harper Design and released in May 2022 to mark the Museum’s 150th Anniversary, has won several awards including Art Book of the Year.Read more
Vinita MungI (b. 1995) is a Mumbai-based artist, who received her BFA in Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in 2017. Confronting western-centric perspectives that her training was largely informed by, she began looking at artists, activists and poets belonging to the Post-colonial feminist movement as a way to introspect upon her own identity and orientations in the world. These meditations, combined with a rigorous and intimate engagement with her medium, inform her explorations of relationships between bodies and objects, daily life, and intimate spheres. Consciously loaded with rich details and vibrant colours, her arresting works also direct attention towards looking beyond what meets the eye. Invoking a greater sense of vigilance, they endeavour to make us critical of seemingly innocuous yet regnant and male-dominated ideological constructs that have been rendered ubiquitous for generations.Read more
Dhruvi Acharya work focuses on the psychological and emotional aspects of an urban woman’s life in a world teeming with discord, violence and pollution. Employing subtle, dark and wry humour, the work draws viewers into a world where thoughts are as visible as “reality”, and where the protagonists live and metamorphose by the logic of that world. Dhruvi began working with ceramics during her stay in New York in 2021. Dhruvi received her MFA from the Hoffberger School, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore. Her works have been exhibited at the San Jose Museum, Queens Museum in New York, Spazio Oberdan in Milan, Griffith University in Brisbane, Webster University in St Louis, CSMVS & NGMA in Mumbai. She has held solo exhibitions with Chemould in Mumbai, Kravets/Wehby in New York & Nature Morte in New Delhi. After living in the USA for nine years, she now lives & works in Mumbai.Read more
Teja Gavankar (b.1986, Mumbai ) received her BFA from L.S. Raheja School of Art, Bandra, Mumbai & Master’s in Visual Arts in Painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts, M. S. U. Baroda, India. She also holds a certificate in Indian Aesthetics from Mumbai University, Mumbai. Mainly interested in drawings, she prefers to work with spaces and objects/materials around her. Teja’s interest is in subverting mundane spaces and adding a new perception to them. Her works provoke thoughts on spatial subjectivity, which is a combination of subjective and objective reality. She had her first international solo show at ‘The Optica Centre for Contemporary Art’ in Montreal, Canada.2017. She has been part of residencies at Khoj international Artist Association, Delhi, 2015, at What about Art, Mumbai, 2017, Space Studio, Baroda, 2019 along with a residency at Verticale Artist Center, Laval, Canada,2016 and Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation supporting International (India- Quebec) Residency at The Darling Foundry, Montreal, Canada,2014. Teja received the ‘Nasreen Mohamedi’ award in MVA Display, M.S.U. Baroda,2014. Recently she received Space 118 awarded as Contemporary residences artist 2020.mShe has been part of many group shows, recent one was at Artissima [Italy], Sakshi Gallery [Mumbai]. She has been a participant in the young subcontinent at the Serendipity Art Festival, Goa 2016, When Is Space at Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur, 2018, Navigation is Offline at Bhubaneshwar Art Trail, Odisha,2018. She was part of a collaborative project with Case Design and showcased her work at Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 Italy. Teja Gavankar lives and works in Mumbai. She has been teaching Design subject at the Academy of Architecture, Mumbai for 8 years now. Currently represented by Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai.Read more
Parag Tandel is a visual auto-ethnographer who archives what he perceives around him and his relationship with the scenery he inhabits. His visual art and socially engaged art practices are raising issues of loss and identity. He is archiving prevailing circumstances and intervening in the oral narratives regarding the colonial and imperial history of the Fisherfolks of Mumbai. Tandel earned a Diploma in Creative Sculpture from M. S University, Baroda (2005) after completing a Diploma in sculpture and clay modeling from Sir J.J School of Art, Mumbai (2003). Tandel’s solo exhibitions include ’Archipelagic Archivist’ and ‘Chronicle’ both showcased at TARQ, Mumbai (2016 & 2023) and ‘Autopolisphilia’ curated by Noopur Desai at Sudarshan art gallery, Pune, India (2018) as well as ‘Pregnant Room 1’ and ‘Pregnant Room 2’, both showcased at Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai (2008 & 2010). In 2019 Parag Co-founded the ‘Tandel Fund Of Archives’, a socially engaged archives and Pop-up Museum of Koli (Indigenous fisherfolks) community of Mumbai. His artist book, Ek bagal mein chand hoga ek bagal mein rotiyan was published in 2022 by TARQ with support from Mumbai Water Narratives at the Living Waters Museum.Read more
A ceramic artist, Shraddha Joshi grew up in a rich cultural heritage of India absorbing a vivid spectrum of ideas around all life events. Her understanding of geometry and the relationship between pattern and form is truly compelling. To her, one small element used in repetitive arrangements to become something greater than the sum of its parts is fascinating. She graduated from Cardiff School of Art and Design, currently based in South Wales.Read more
Tessa Peters is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster. She is a researcher at the University’s Centre for Research and Education in Art & Media (CREAM), and the Ceramics Research Centre-UK with a special interest in participatory and collaborative art projects. https://www.westminster.ac.uk/about-us/our-people/directory/peters-tessa She studied Fine Art at Winchester School of Art, for an MA in the History of Design from Middlesex University, later serving as Director of the Contemporary Applied Arts Gallery, London. She is now a writer on contemporary art practice and an independent curator. Her past UK exhibition projects have been seen at the Barbican Centre, Pitzhanger Manor, Dr Johnson’s House and Marsden Woo Gallery London; the Crafts Study Centre, Surrey; the Bowes Museum, Co. Durham; the Potteries Museum & Gallery, Staffordshire and Hove Museum and Gallery, East Sussex. Most recently she has been an associate researcher/curator on a socially collaborative art project in South Korea.Read more
Phoebe Cummings explores ceramics as a time-based medium. Each intricately modelled work is durational, and the same clay may be recycled and re-used in different locations. The traces of physical interaction between body and raw material are always present, and the clay takes an active role in the work, enacting its own slow performance as it drips, dries, shrinks and cracks. Cummings studied Three-Dimensional Crafts at the University of Brighton, before completing an MA in Ceramics & Glass at the Royal College of Art in 2005. She has undertaken artist-residences, in the UK, USA and Greenland, including six months at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2010, and a Ceramics Fellowship at Camden Art Centre 2012/13. She was the winner of the British Ceramics Biennial Award 2011 and the BBC Woman’s Hour Craft Prize 2017. She is a Research Associate at the University of Westminster -Ceramics Research Centre - UKRead more
Clare Twomey is a British artist, researcher, and curator (b 1968) Twomey is among the most groundbreaking and influential material specific artists of her generation. Clare Twomey is a defining figure of the expanded field of ceramics. Her practice encompasses monumental site-specific installation and performance, she frequently collaborates with institutions, and embraces temporality and the audience as collaborator. Twomey uses these strategies to explore themes of social responsibility, where the audience are encouraged to make conscious decisions that determine their engagement with the work. Twomey’s purview explores aspects of material, skill and values in making, choreographing process as performance. Twomey is a research led artist actively engaged in challenging and bringing attention to the obscured narratives.Read more
Madhvi Subrahmanian Artist, curator, writer, Madhvi Subrahmanian trained at the Golden Bridge Pottery, Pondicherry and has a MFA from SMU, Dallas, TX. Madhvi has been on art-residencies in Japan, China, Korea, Thailand and the US. Her sculptures and installations can be seen in several private and public collections such as Bangalore airport-T2, India Heritage centre Singapore, Shigaraki Ceramic Sculptural Park, Japan, and the Fule Museum in Fuping, China. She has shown at several beinnales and museums around the world and her upcoming projects includes a public art work for a subway station in Singapore. Madhvi is a co-founder and co-curator of Indian Ceramics Triennale and a board member of Hampi Art Labs. She shows with Gallery Chemould Prescott Road in Mumbai.Read more
Anjani Khanna Ceramic sculptor, curator and writer Anjani Khanna studied ceramics with Ray Meeker at the Golden Bridge Pottery in Pondicherry. She is co-founder co-curator of the Indian Ceramics Triennale, director of the Contemporary Clay Foundation and a member of the International Academy of Ceramics, Geneva. She has received numerous awards and fellowships, including grants from the India Foundation for the Arts, a Senior Fellowship from the Government of India and several awards from the Prafulla Dahanukar Foundation. She is an Arthink South Asia Fellow and was seconded to the British Ceramics Biennial as an arts management fellow. Anjani was on the AWARD committee of the British Ceramics Biennial 2021. She has been artist-in-residence in the US, Europe, Australia, China and in India. Her work has been shown both nationally and internationally. Anjani studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge and lives and works between Mumbai and Alibag where she makes large scale figurative sculptures, often fired in a wood kiln.Read more
Sharbani Das Gupta Currently based in New Mexico, Sharbani Das Gupta graduated from NID, India, and apprenticed in ceramics at Golden Bridge Pottery. She has worked at the porcelain studio at UNM, and participates in artist residencies, most recently as a Summer Fellow at the Archie Bray. She was in ‘50 Women’ at NCECA and in the Scripps Annual 2022 in Los Angeles. Her work is published in The Craft and Art of Clay, Southwest Contemporary, and other journals. She is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics, the Indian Ceramics Triennale curatorial team, and the board of the Studio Potter magazine.Read more
Abhay Sardesai has been the Editor of ART India, the premier art magazine of India, since November 2002. Under his editorship, the magazine has developed a Culture Studies-oriented approach and has become more inter-disciplinary in its theme-based explorations. He has been a Visiting Faculty in Aesthetics at the Department of English, University of Mumbai, and has also been the Chair of Humanities, Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture, Mumbai. He teaches at TISS and the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum. He writes in English and translates from Marathi, Konkani and Gujarati. As an associate of the research collective PUKAR, he was the Director of the Writing Across the City project which explored the inter-relationships between literatures and literary cultures in the city of Mumbai. He has written widely on Art and Literature and read from his work at various places including the University of Princeton, University of Cambridge, Mumbai University, S.N.D.T. University and NGMA, among other places.Read more
Fundamental Difference between Ceramic and Pottery
The origin of the word Ceramic is from the ancient Greek
word κέραμος, "kéramos", which means "clay" or
"potter's land". The process of making ceramic objects involves the
conversion of organic and non-metallic ductile material found in their natural
state to hard long-lasting material. Most ceramics are referred to as fine art,
however, they can be Crystalline or Noncrystalline based on the process and raw
material they are made from. Pottery is one of the oldest forms of ceramic. It
is further classified as a functional art where the product made has a
functional purpose, like dinnerware, serving bowls, ovenware, and vases.
History of Ceramics
The oldest known ceramic artefact, a statue of a woman,
named the Venus of Dolní Věstonice, from a small prehistoric settlement near
Brno, found in the Czech Republic is dated from the Paleolithic period as early
as 28,000 BCE. Many other clay figurines that represented Ice Age animals were
also found in the same location near the remains of a horseshoe-shaped kiln.
The first pottery pieces were found in Xianrendong cave in China, dated roughly
tp 18000-17000 BCE. There was a surge in the use of ceramics from the Neolithic
period with the establishment of agrarian economies around 9000 BCE. The
pottery wheel was invented around 3500 BCE which was a breakthrough in the
ceramic industry followed by the introduction of kilns and furnaces.
Ceramics involve multiple steps and techniques. The two
basic ceramic-making processes are Mixing and Melting. In the first process of
mixing, the fine clay particles are mixed with some kind of adhesive solution,
like water or other liquid/lubricant to achieve the rheological properties of
the mixture. In the next step, the mixture is shaped and sintered followed by
melting and pouring it into prepared moulds. Handbuilding is the clay shaping
technique using hands. Clay can also be shaped using the wheel, using the
throwing method which uses the centrifugal forces of the spinning wheel to
shape the ceramics and pottery. Another interesting technique in ceramics is
called Pinching, where the clay is first kneaded in a ball, and then the artist
keeps pressing the middle of the ball while rotating it with the other hand
till the desired shape is achieved. Many of the archaeological artefacts from
Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, and Greece are made using this technique. The
process of Slab and Soil construction uses already-made strips/slabs of clay
followed by processes like combining, joining, pressing, bending or folding to
make interesting objects like painted and glazed tiles.
Indian Ceramics Triennale
Contemporary Clay Foundation initiated the Indian
Ceramics Triennale. The Triennale aims to showcase and nurture the growing
diversity of ceramic art expression in India and to exhibit together the best
practices used in modern-day international ceramics. The Triennale will broaden
the scope and viewership of the ceramic medium within the visual arts field. It
encourages artists to experiment and go bold in creating their art while
engaging with public imagination and encouraging a wider discourse on clay art
and clay in art through exhibitions, symposia, workshops, film screenings, live
performances and artist talks.The Contemporary Clay Foundation is an
artist-driven, not-for-profit organisation that supports and elevates
clay-based art practice and builds informed audiences for national and
international ceramic art in the country.