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Ashwini Bhat

135 Belle View Ave
Petaluma, CA 94952, U.S.A.
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Phone: 4154653683     Fax: 4154653683

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Ashwini Bhat studied ceramics with Ray Meeker at Golden Bridge Pottery, Pondicherry. She has a M.A degree in literature and studied classical dance for nearly thirteen years before working as a professional dancer in the Padmini Chettur Dance Company for four years. 
Her work has been featured internationally in many galleries and exhibitions including, most recently, in American Jazz Museum (Kansas City,MO); NCECA (Kansas City, MO, 2016; Providence, RI, 2015 and Houston, USA, 2013); Newport Art Museum (Newport, RI, USA 2015); Indian Museum at FLICAM (Fuping, China 2013); the Sculpture Garden at Grand Hyatt (Chennai, India, 2011); India Art Summit (New Delhi, India, 2011); and Woodfire Tasmania (Australia, 2011).
She won the Howard Foundation Fellowship for Sculpture (2013-14). In 2012 Bhat built her studio and woodfiring kiln near Auroville, Pondicherry, India and continues to make sculptural ceramic works there and in the US where she currently lives.



My journey as an artist has been a vigorous interrogation in search of form. My background is in literature, translation and classical dance. Now I gather shapes from the world around me, from travel, and from my journeys through books. I also look inside myself for forms and I translate those into bodies of clay.
I hand-build with coils or work through solid clay blocks, scooping clay to create negative spaces. Although trained in wheel throwing, I became a hand-builder by choice. The slowness allows me to internalize forms, intensifying the physical process. I'm passionate about form — mass, volume, material — and tectonics and movement, and my work celebrates the earth from which it’s derived. I want my sculptures to invite viewers to walk around them, to interact with the revealed and the hidden. 
I find it poignant that even in transformation, as clay turns to stone, the process of making — a fingertip depression, scrape, or dent — remains legible. My work isn’t prone to ornamentation; nevertheless, anagama-fired sculptures with natural-ash and gritty surfaces communicate signs of both decay and perseverance.
I came from a career in dance to ceramic sculpture with an abiding sense of engagement as motion. In the large-scale ceramic work I’m building, the body of the human viewer is almost necessarily participatory in negotiating an encounter with the art, and both the sculptural and the human body, as they modulate exterior and interior horizons, will emphasize, I hope, their mutuality, their simultaneity and involvement in each other.
My artistic work expresses my thinking less through what have become standard references to contemporary theory and various isms, than through my engagement with the materials themselves. I want my ceramic sculptures to accompany viewers beyond the familiar.



Solo Exhibitions:

2016, New Works, Arch Contemporary Ceramics, RI, USA

2015, Earth Took of Earth, Newport Art Museum, Newport, RI, USA

2012, Allegory of Fire, Clayspace Gallery, Asheville, NC, USA


Group Exhibitions:

2016,  Martinsons Award Exhibition at the Latvia International Ceramics Biennale, Daugavplis Mark Rothko Centre, Latvia

2016, Cub Creek Foundation, Academy Centre of Arts, Lynchburg, VA, USA

2016, Juried show, Suspended Earth: Contemporary Clay 2016, Western Colorado Centre for Arts, CO, USA

2016, Standing Wave, in collaboration with Sharbani Das Gupta, Debra Smith and Forrest Gander, Studio P/ The Studios Inc, Kansas City, MO, USA

2016, 50 years/50 Women: A Celebration of Women in Ceramics, American jazz Museum, Kansas City, USA

2015, Terra Firma, co-sponsered by Brown India Initiative, NCECA, AS220, Providence, RI, USA

2015, Friends of Fire, Gustin Gallery, NCECA, South Dartmouth, MA, USA

2014, Bridges: Golden Bridge Pottery and Contemporary Ceramics in India, Stainless Gallery, New Delhi, India

2013, Narrative of Fire, Survey of Contemporary Ceramics, Artworks, New Bedford, MA, USA

2013, Containment IV, Crimson Laurel Gallery, Bakersville, NC, USA

2013, High Heat, Redbird Studio and Gallery, Columbia, SC, USA

2013, Traditions Evolving, NCECA, Houston, TX, USA

2012, Jeff Shapiro and Friends, Gallery Square Circle, Auroville, India

2011, Continental Drift, Deloraine, Woodfire Tasmania, Australia

2010, Sculptural Teapots, Shanghai, China



Residencies and Workshops:

2017, Invited Artist, International Woodfire Conference, Seagrove, NC, USA

2017, Guest Artist, The Ceramic Cultural Park Shigaraki, Shiga, Japan

2016, Artist-invite-Artist Residency, Red Lodge Clay Centre, MT, USA

2016, Installation Artist Residency, Arch Contemporary, Tiverton, RI, USA

2016, Panelist, International Woodfire Conference, Sugar Grove, IL, USA

2016, Visiting Artist, Queens University, Charlotte, NC, USA

2016, Visiting Artist, Cub Creek Foundation, Appomattox, VA, USA

2015, Artist in Residence, Ceramic Department/ Fall Semester, UMASS Dartmouth, New Bedford, MA, USA

2015, Invitational participation at the NCECA pre-conference workshop, Gustin Ceramics, South Dartmouth, MA, USA

2014, Visiting Speaker, ATREE foundation, Bangalore, India

2014, Visiting Artist, Gustin Ceramics, South Dartmouth, MA, USA

2013, Visiting Lecturer, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, MA, USA

2013, Visiting Artist, Gustin Ceramics, South Dartmouth, MA, USA

2013, Invitational Residency, FLICAM (FuLe International Ceramic Art Museums) permanent collection, Fuping, China

2013, Visiting Artist, Flynn Creek Pottery, Comptche, CA, USA

2012, Visiting Artist, Clayspace, Asheville NC, USA

2011, Visiting Artist, Tin Shed Pottery, Deloraine, Tasmania, Australia

2011 Long-term Artist-in-Residence, Golden Bridge Pottery, Pondicherry, India



Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowship for research 2015- 2016 (declined by the Artist due to Visa technicalities)

Howard Foundation Fellowship for Sculpture (2013-2014), Howard Foundation, USA

Shortlist (2013-2014), Emerging Artist Award, ICMEA 2013, Fuping, China



Anthony Merino, “Ashwini Bhat” Ceramic Art and Perception: Issue 100. USA. 2015

Sujatha Shankar Kumar, “Clay People of the Coromandel Coast” Art India: Issue 4. India. 2015

Exposure section, “Into the Mouths of Volcanoes” Ceramic Monthly:

Issue: March. USA. 2015

Sharbani Das Gupta, “Shape of the Wind” Ceramic Ireland: Issue 34. Ireland. 2014

Anthony Merino, “Narrative of Fire: Bodies and Clay” Ceramic Art and Perception: Issue 98. USA. 2014

Mark Jacobs, “Neolithic Chunk Maker” New Ceramics: Issue 6. Germany. 2014

Sharbani Das Gupta, “Cross Pollination” New Ceramics: Issue 4/2014. Germany. 2014

Anjani Khanna , “The China Feeling: Experiments with Clay in the Middle Country” Marg Publications: Issue 65. India. 2014

Larry Smith, “One Over Two Two Over One” Caliban Online: Issue 14. USA. 2014

Forrest Gander, “Sculpting the Primordial” Crafts Arts International: Issue 87. Australia. 2012

Sharbani Das Gupta and Madhvi Subramanian, “Traditions Evolving: Golden Bridge Pottery and Contemporary Ceramics in India” Ceramic Ireland: Issue 31. Ireland. 2013

Tony Merino, “Traditions Evolving: Golden Bridge Pottery and Contemporary Ceramics in India” Infoceramica. Spain. 2013

Janet Mansfield, “Continental Drift: Anagama in South India” New Ceramics: Issue 6. Germany. 2011



Ashwini Bhat, “Earth Took of Earth” Artist Book. India. 2014

Ashwini Bhat, “Journey in Clay,” Logbook: Issue 48. Ireland. 2011


Selected Art Fairs:

2013, United Art Fair, New Delhi, India

2011, India Art Summit, New Delhi, India


Permanent Installations:

2016-17, Millstones, Fredrick Douglas National Park renovations by the New Bedford Historical Society, New Bedford, MA, USA

2015, Earth Took of Earth, Newport Art Museum, Newport, RI, USA

2015, One over two Two over one, Watson Institute for International Studies, Providence, RI, USA

2013, Indian Museum FLICAM (FuLe International Ceramic Art Museums), Fuping, China

2013, Cat's Cradle, Emerging Artists' Collections, FuLe International Ceramic Museum, Fuping, China

2010, Queen, Sculpture Garden, Grand Hyatt, Chennai, India


Collaborative Projects:

2015-16, Standing Wave, in collaboration with Sharbani Das Gupta, Debra Smith and Forrest Gander, Studio P/ The Studios Inc, Kansas City, MO, USA

2014, Compass Rose, in collaboration with Forrest Gander, Newport Art Museum, Newport, RI, USA

2014, Collaborators: A Lively Experiment, in collaboration with Seth Rainville

Imago Gallery, Warren, RI, USA

2013, One over two, Two over one, in collaboration with Forrest Gander, United Art Fair, New Delhi, India