A potter works on a molded crown-shaped pot in the Emma Bridgewater pottery in Hanley, Stoke on Trent, England which is producing a collection to celebrate the queen’s diamond jubilee. The Diamond Jubilee range will feature both hand decorated spongeware patterns and lithographed prints on celebratory mugs, bowls, plates, teapots and a ceramic crown emblazoned with the slogans ‘Sixty Years a Queen’ and ‘Steadfast and True. AFP PHOTO / Andrew Yates
After a successful stint with Sotheby's London in an exhibition titled, Inspired by India, in 2012, ceramic artist Rahul Kumar, 35, is back with another show in the Capital. Titled Astronomically Small, the show is currently running at Art Heritage, Triveni Kala Sangam, where Kumar is showcasing some of his recent works - a cluster of ultra-tiny ceramics, some of which when put together form a larger piece of art.
We met the artist two days before the show opening. While taking a round at the gallery, we spotted a tray that appeared cracked. We asked Kumar if that was breaking. He explained, "That's the drama I'm creating in my work. I've deliberately used two totally different kinds of clay - stoneware and terracotta - and have tried to merge them to create this work. No matter how hard you try, they never blend and end up giving this effect."
Kumar entered the field of pottery 20 years ago and since then, there has been no looking back. With a full time career in a multinational company, he says pottery is his passion and he is very honest towards it. During his show in 2011 at India Habitat Centre, a Sotheby's curator spotted Kumar's work and invited him to London to showcase with them. "I did very well in that show. They wanted miniature works from me and I totally enjoyed making them. The works created are the actual contemporary ceramic art, very different from the Mohenjo-daro and Harappan pottery," he said.
Kumar's current show is an extension of the series. For example, there is a range of wall plaques - in numbers of four, six and nine. A frame-like base connects these miniature functional plates that almost form a canvas. Another range of work includes very tiny pots mounted on mutilated forms intriguing the viewer to seek meanings embodied within the form.