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Home > Discover Mumbai > Art & Culture > Art Works - An exhibition by Madhvi Subramanian
 
Art Works - An exhibition by Madhvi Subramanian

Beautiful and imperfect as Madhvi Subramanian's fresh made clay pots. That describes the ceramic artist's work best, making the onlooker understand a new dimension to art 'Beauty in imperfection.' Madhvi Subramanian

"I started pottery at the hobby level, letting curiosity and creativity get the better of me. I just loved the feel of clay in my hands and was fascinated with the magic at the potter's wheel. This led me to study pottery under a potter in Pondicherry and set up a studio in Mumbai," says Madhvi Subramanian on her sojourn in the world of art and ceramics. This only wetted her creative appetite for more. Letting her dreams lead the way she went abroad to understand the nuances of clay better. She did her Masters in Fine Arts at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, went to summer school with Val Cushing in New York and worked as an assistant to William Daley, Haystack School of Crafts in Maine. Then, there was no stopping her. Madhvi had her first exhibition in 1990 at the Excentricities Gallery in USA and was even part of the Triveni Kala Sangam in New Delhi with a solo exhibition titled 'Pod and other containers.' This potter has also displayed her talent at select group exhibitions in India and abroad.

Madhvi Subramanian's worksUnlike most studio potters in India, she does not confine the vocabulary of her ceramics to table-top functionality, on the one hand; nor does she limit herself to the archetypal symbolism of organic forms, on the other. Madhvi subjects the conventional understanding of function to irony: she morphs a lid into a child's rattle, or lends a house a set of 4 legs that make it mobile. She experiments with form, probing the glaze and gloss that characterise well-finished, pottery.

"I believe that art is interconnected to one's own life. It catches one's imagination and fantasy and the artist subconsciously with the thought that 'this is what he wants to do.' There is a certain urge in the artist that addresses her creative instinct," believes the potter whose work speaks of symbolism and a definite earthy connection.

The first thing that strikes one about her work is its boldness - almost like a powerful open book that needs no reading. The story is yours to see.

Madhvi Subramanian's worksMadhvi also includes other elements from popular culture, like textile patterns, in her work: the casual orange polka, which dots some of her plate surfaces, turns the simple spherical form into an object of fantasy. This experience of play, a constant transaction between the given, forms of pottery and the everyday vernacular of popular culture, allows for a post-modernist informality in Madhvi's works. "None of the surfaces of my pottery are shiny, but I use bright colours like oranges, greys, black, blue and aquamarine green. I have at places even experimented with the use of gold leaf and gold dust," Madhvi explains.

In her exhibition 'Art Works' at the Cymroza Art Gallery, apart from putting toy conches and gourds in bowls and plates, Madhvi also introduces a phantasmagoric creature with twists of spooky hair, quoting a character from the popular Dr Seuss series of children's books. "I am a mother of two children, so I think that being a mother comes forth in some of my work," says Madhvi on the influences on her style. By creating interactive objects, Madhvi sets up a veritable toyshop, employing humour and wit to unbend the formality of perfectly made pottery.

"Potters are large in number abroad owing to the easy availability of materials like clay and glaze off the shelf andconvenient facilities. HenceMadhvi Subramanian's works the competition there is also very high. In India, the main problem is sourcing of material and finding consistent quality," she laments. Having tried her hand at installation art, video art, print making, painting and drawing, Madhvi realises that ceramic pottery is hers to be.

Exhibition: Art Works
Artist: Madhvi Subramanian

Address:

Cymroza Art Gallery,
# 72 Bhulabhai Desai Road,
Mumbai - 400 026.
Phone: 2367 1983
Fax:
2367 1999

By: Anupama Vinayak

 
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