As a child, I could have never imagined being a potter. Art was not considered to be a career option that could earn a living – and pottery as a medium made it even more difficult. Although I was encouraged to explore my creativity, focused formal education was always top priority.
Initially, my perception of ‘challenge’ for a potter was to make a vessel comfortable to use – a bowl to eat out of, a cup to drink from and a tea pot that pours well. This philosophy of making pottery has been highly influenced by the traditional Indian concept – to produce pots that have a function. Gradually, as I focused more on the form and character of the pot, utility and function took a back seat. My pots, though still vessels, became more sculptural. 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.
The very process and act of working with clay helps me to go beyond the cerebral and rational pursuits which happen to be my prime concerns by virtue of my professional corporate career. Clay enables me to return to my ‘core’ and reclaim parts of me which get eroded in the mundane living. In my profession, which is a significant part of me, I have the compulsion to operate within embedded structures; hence, there is a tremendously powerful urge to break away from all boundaries. 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.
— Rahul Kumar