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Artist expresses human emotions in clay sculpture

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Finely shaped jawlines, thin lips and evocative human expressions have been manifested in clay sculptures by Delhi-based artist Manjari Sharma at an art show here.

Inspired by Sharma's meditative journey and her quest to understand the idea of existence, the show at Lalit Kala Akadmi, "Sculptour" is about recollecting experiences, thoughts and feelings associated with time and place.


"My life has been a quest. I have longed for answers to who we are, why are we here and why am I 'me'. I have meditated with Swami Chinmayanand as a little girl, had endless discussions with my father on life and death. I became a Buddhist for a while, and read some books.

"These pretty much shaped the course of my life from then on... In these experiences I felt the oneness of all existence, without borders just as everything was a part of me," says Sharma.

In a collection of 40 sculptures, Sharma attempts to express human sentiments that make the core of an individual's identity.

Other than sculptures, the artist is also displaying jars, platters and tea pots that have human heads, hands and fingers mounted on them.

Through the process of hand building techniques, Sharma's personalised contemporary ceramic heads vividly exhibit smiles, frowns and sorrows in their facial expressions.

"I work with a personal structural vocabulary to create human forms, pots and other ceramic structures. I think that the understanding of structure helps in making sculptures," she says.

While clay is the oldest and natural medium for creating sculptures, Sharma states due to its versatility one can form large pieces, one coil at a time and can even construct pieces with slabs.

The artist reveals techniques and inspiration which are not only intimate but also give viewer an understanding of how a potter's wheel works.

"The sculptural process from conceptualisation to forming and finishing to the final installation, is a journey in itself. I work primarily in stoneware clay, fire to 1260 degree Celsius. My glazes are all from the range of 1260 to 1280. But I like the feel and look of unglazed pottery with some oxide slips on it," she says.

Curated by art critic Uma Nair, the show creates an amalgamation of unique sculptural signatures with conversational variations.

"The artist doesn't merely make pots, she builds and fashions them. Indeed, she uses a potter's wheel to spin the initial clay forms but after that first rudimentary step the traditional method of wheel-thrown pottery is dramatically overturned, as she slices layers and peels apart the clay to create an array of engaging human persona of uncommon liveliness," says Nair.

The exhibition is set to continue till April 23.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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