Red Lodge Clay Center Short-Term Resident (AIA) 2016
Ashwini Bhat, an artist based in Petaluma, California, holds an M.A degree in literature and studied classical dance for nearly ten years before working as a professional dancer in the Padmini Chettur Dance Company. She studied ceramics with American artist Ray Meeker in Pondicherry, India.
Bhat’s work explores the deep relationship between the constructed and the inherent. She often introduces radical but somehow familiar forms to suggest complex interplay between landscape, human, and non-human forms. She was the recipient of the Howard Foundation Fellowship for Sculpture in 2013-14, and her work has been widely exhibited nationally & internationally.
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.