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Ceramics To Get a Makeover: MOG Exhibition to Unveil its Artistic Potential Beyond Utility

Six Goa-based female ceramics artists will showcase their personal experiences utilising ceramics in the exhibition titled ‘Unearthed’ at the Museum of Goa

Six Goa-based women artists will harness the qualities of malleability, longevity and durability of clay to craft artistic ceramic artworks that stretch beyond the realm of utility. Their works will be showcased in an upcoming exhibition titled ‘Unearthed’ at the Museum of Goa (MOG), Pilerne from March 16. 

‘Unearthed’, a ceramic exhibition supported by Bhoomi Pottery, a pottery equipment provider, promises to be an immersion into the ceramic art form and will contain a series of events. This includes hands-on workshops, performances, a panel discussion with the participating artists and pop-ups that will help to broaden the reach of ceramics as an art form to larger audiences.

Drawing similarities between the process of moulding clay into its final ceramic form and the human experience, the ceramic artworks will be on display from March 16 to March 31 at the Museum. Artists Aditi Kashyap, Avani Tanya, Khushboo Madnani, Nimmy Joshi, Ragini Deshpande and Tanushree Singh will be exhibiting their ceramic artworks, which also celebrate the power of ceramics as a medium of personal expression and collective storytelling.

The exhibition offers a platform for these women ceramicists to showcase their artwork to the public and bring more awareness to the lesser-known ancient art of ceramics, which has been utilised as a medium of human expression since 29,000 BCE, evolving from statues, tiles and figurines to contemporary forms of art.

“One of the main goals behind hosting a ceramics exhibition at MOG is to showcase the possibilities of ceramics beyond utility. We wanted to look at ceramics being used to create contemporary art and as a medium for artistic expression,” said Sharada Kerkar, operational head at MOG and co-founder of the Children’s Arts Studio (CAS) located at MOG in Pilerne.

Ragini Deshpande, one of the participating artists, conceptualised ‘Unearthed’ to showcase the ancient craft of ceramics and decided to reach out to women ceramicists to participate in the exhibition to give them a bigger platform.

“The title of the exhibition — ‘Unearthed’ — arose from the fragile yet durable nature of ceramics. We have visual insights into cultures of bygone eras from the ceramic artefacts unearthed during archaeological excavations, hence, the word ‘unearthed’ represents all those memories that we are privy to because of the art of ceramics,” said Deshpande.

As part of the ceramic exhibition, there will also be creative workshops held at CAS to enable the public to immerse themselves in the world of ceramics.

Clayton D’Souza of the Ucassaim-based Mud Skippers Studio will be conducting a workshop titled ‘Face Mask Workshop’ on March 16, while Aditi Kashyap and Shailee Mehta of Baadalghar in Socorro, will be conducting a workshop, ‘The Pot and I: Self-Portraits in Clay’ on March 24.

Sculpting and firing ceramic creations will be the highlights of March 23 and March 30, with the ‘Raku Workshop’ by Clayton D’Souza and ‘Obvara Firing Workshop’ by Khushboo Madnani of Studio Klay, respectively, taking participants through the crucial steps of the ceramic-making process. 

As clay has been utilised as a form of self-expression for millennia, the artists are eager to introduce the medium to a wider audience.

“As a woman, you are often not allowed to express yourself for fear of being labelled the superlative of the negative spectrum of emotions. Ceramics, a still medium, offers a way to express these suppressed emotions from the start of the process till the end,” said Joshi, co-founder of Mud Skippers Studio, who will be teaching courses for beginners. 

‘Unearthed’ will also have a closing night, with a market to conclude the 16-day-long exhibition, called ‘Clay Bazaar’, which will solely focus on clay and ceramic products from artists and artisans all across Goa.

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