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Rahul Kumar

About The Artist

Artist’s Statement Pottery for me is a silent spiritual journey, a creative discipline, a flamboyant celebration, a passionate love affair to revel in forever! I like to ‘reinvent’ things from nature in my own visual language. I like to balance between wheel throwing and slab construction. Developing these two methods simultaneously allows a fresh creative approach, which promotes exhibiting the contrast of the medium – wheel thrown pots representing symmetry, rigidity, and hand built components showing the organic, fluid nature of the clay. I also attempt to convey the qualities of clay by allowing the form to speak of its existence through the evidence of artist and medium in collaboration. My artistic endeavours are spontaneous, intuitive, and in many ways quite basic, but liberating for me. My works celebrate the journey so far. It is a contained outpour of passionate creativity that chooses to communicate through clay. Fulbright Experience It has been 8 years since I completed my masters on Fulbright, and the memories of my experience are still very fresh. I decided to work at the University of Dallas (UD), Texas as I thought UD had the one of the best ceramic art departments. It was very well equipped and had a history of over 40 years. But, to be honest, I considered Alfred (upstate New York) first. I was very keen to work with Val Cushing, the celebrated artist. On reaching out to him, I found that he had given up formal teaching and immediately guided me to Dan Hammett, who was the chair of the art department at UD and the ceramic art professor. My interactions with Dan were very meaningful. I thought he was very sharing, but more importantly, was willing to guide me to find my voice. My 12-year practice before the Fulbright revolved entirely around making functional works. This is probably not surprising since that’s how most ceramists globally, and certainly in India begins the clay journey! But I had a deep desire to move away from the conventional and use my medium to express. But using the mundane pot to tell a story – did seem like an uphill task. My time in the US was most valuable and enriching. Since I was part of the formal program at the university, I had an opportunity to learn other aspects of art that went way beyond the clay studio. There were classes at the sculpture, painting, and print-making departments and I took courses in Art History! My professors never promised to make it easy, and it was not, but since then I know how to tell stories using my lowly pot!

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