Ashwini Bhat

Artist Statement

I’m not interested in creating a perfect object— if what defines an object is our removal from it. Instead, I’m searching for gestural links that emphasize what we share with the non-human world, how we are related not only to animals, but to trees, for instance. The awareness of our relatedness has ethical implications as we recognize that we, ourselves, are not masters set apart from everything else, but living communities of different organisms affected even by the inanimate world. I want my art to materialize a personal environment in which the suggestively biomorphic volumes of my sculptures engage the viewer— so tactile apprehension leads to recognition, to contemplation, and to moments of exhilaration. If I’m not making art with some awareness of what is at stake in our time, I wouldn’t want to be an artist.

-- Ashwini Bhat


Ashwini Bhat, an artist based in Petaluma, California, holds an M.A degree in literature and an earlier career in classical Indian dance. She studied ceramics with American artist Ray Meeker in Pondicherry, India.

Bhat’s work explores the deep relationship between the human and non-human, between the constructed and the inherent. She often introduces radical but somehow familiar forms to suggest the complex connection between the sculptural and the human body.

Her work has been exhibited nationally & internationally in, among others, The Lacoste/Keane Gallery, Cavin-Morris Gallery, Cohen Gallery/Brown University, the American Jazz Museum, the Newport Art Museum; Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park (Japan) India Art Fair (India), FuLe International Ceramic Art Museum (China); Woodfire Tasmania (Australia). Her sculpture also has been widely reviewed and featured in Brooklyn Rail (USA), Lana Turner: a Journal of Poetry and Opinion (USA), Riot Material (USA), Ceramic Art and Perception (USA/Australia),, Ceramics Ireland (Ireland), New Ceramics (Germany), Caliban (USA), Crafts Arts International (Australia), The Studio Potter (USA), Logbook (Ireland), and Ceramics Monthly (USA).