Shirley Bhatnagar

Artist Statement

While my work is simple and childlike the process to create and distill it from a very complex idea always remains a challenge.

The sense of play and hilarity entwined with illustrations now forms the backbone of my work. I draw inspiration from cinema, folk culture.

I have been working with anthropomorphism in tableware and now in sculpture for over 7 years. I work a lot with a whole gamut of facial expressions and body movements to inform the work, which infuse life into the characters.

I felt a definitive shift in my work after creating “the broken promised” my first political work where I had to process a lot of content to create a work with a singular voice. It has also started a personal journey where I could no longer keep quiet to the injustices in the world, and even though it has been dealt with humor the seriousness is apparent to the discerning viewer.

While there is a distinct and definitive style, I believe experimentation and working through trial and error is the only way forward.

-- Shirley Bhatnagar


Shirley Bhatnagar is based between Delhi and Jaipur. She graduated from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad majoring in Industrial ceramics. In 1998 she has worked on many public and private commissions.

She is a visiting faculty in leading design colleges in India, and used to head the Fired Material Application discipline at the Indian Institute of Crafts and Design, Jaipur.

She is also a partner in Ishan Khosla Design LLP ,a design firm based out of New Delhi.

Apart from being a ceramic artist she works on projects that deal with revival of Indian crafts. She has 4 solo exhibitions to her credit and numerous group shows.