That which contains, ceramic vessels which hold all–group show by nine artists, curated by Nehal Rachh Nandi.

Words and Photos: Ambica Gulati

Vessel Redefined 1A lady whose bond with clay has been sealed since the last two decades, Nehal Rachh Nandi has donned the hat of a curator for the first time. For this Baroda-based artist, clay is what she connects because it connects her with earth. And highlighting the vessel, a much taken for granted container, she got together a group of eight to put together this show—Vessel Redefined.  It is on till January 19, 2016.

Vessel RedefinedThe group show includes works by Veena Chandran, Thomas Louis, Perin Jacob, Nehal Rachh, Mudita Bhandari, Falguni Bhatt, Devyani Smith, Deepika Talwar and Aniruddh Sagar. Nandi shares all that went into putting the show together. Excerpts:

Ceramic is a difficult medium to market and sell. What made you put together this exhibition?
It is a different medium and things are changing now. I find people are more exposed to this form and there have been many buyers in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and in the metros. And I find more Indians buying it.

How did you find the artists?
Over the years, I have known them and their works. So it wasn’t very difficult. And when I approached them, I got a positive response. They understood the concept well and the result is this exhibition.

Did all of you discuss the works with each other or they just happened?
No, actually none of us discussed anything, but as I was opening the works, I was thinking how it would be. And the surprise has been good. We understand each other’s language, so we never felt the need to discuss or disclose our works.

You are an artist and now a curator. What is the difference in the two roles?
As an artist I have to take care of my personal space only. Bu as a curator, I need to take care of the bigger picture. I have to make sure that it all comes together seamlessly.

What is the USP of each artist?
I know that they work intimately with their works. Aniruddh’s work has a narrative and later I came to know he writes poetry.  Mudita works with terracotta and smoked fire and gets really absorbed in the process. Devyani treats her works like little babies, Deepika just finds a small space and is always totally involved in it. I saw Veena’s work in a catalogue and I thought she would understand the concept. Everyone is very expressive. This is a technique oriented medium and all of us work with a different kind of clay.

Do all of you decide on the form you want to create or it just happens?
It all unfolds when the clay goes on the wheel. It takes its own shape and form.

About Nehal Rachh
She quit her job in advertising and began creating clay art forms full time.  She did her graduation in Graphic Design at the M.S.University, Baroda. Pottery was an optional subject, but it lured me and my movement into it was on organic one. She went on to study at the Golden Bridge Pottery in Puducherry in 1997.