Shirin Mehta Notes. Styling by Sarah Rajkotwala. Photography by Mallika Chandra. Art direction by Aishwaryashree
Rekha Goyal, 42
Why ceramics? What was the first thing that attracted you to this art?
I can pursue my interest in pottery from a young age when I lived in South America – Venezuela for a few years and then in Curacao – where my mother had ceramic tools. I vividly remember moving my hands through the beautiful pieces, perhaps to grasp the seemingly lifeless objects. I also enjoyed playing with terracotta dolls.
My first well-prepared pottery course was a school course when I was 12. This was the beginning of a project that explored many areas of the project. And since then, it has been a continuous process of discovering, learning, experimenting and discovering my form through these drawings.
Where do you work? Where did you get your education?
I grew up surrounded by engineers and doctors, and the hope was that I too would join one of these rivers. As a test for myself and as an encouragement to my parents, I was allowed to enter a high school of engineering and then leave. This was a time when I made a conscious decision to follow my heart.
As a result, after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from the Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai, and masters in Art in Architecture from London, I continued my professional career and built my own studio in Mumbai, now 22 years old.
What is your creative approach?
There are two ways in which they are parallel. One is the long, slow process of changing one’s creative mindset. It involves developing the language, testing the material, and making improvements.
Another method involves a small circle, centered on the design of an artist or a work group. Here the emphasis is on the mind and then translates the idea into a physical form. When the artwork is ready, it should be placed on the spot. I detailed the initial installation, so that the process on the site is exactly. Depending on the size and complexity of the project, the entire process can take between months to several months.
What enhances your style and silhouettes?
Being able to translate the mind into physical form is what motivates me. Everything is inspiring – conversation, nature, history, race, or how I feel. To me, grief and despair are like happiness and freedom. And art is my way of creating this chaos – either mentally or emotionally.
Do you record this before or after the walk?
Each of my work starts with a blank sheet of paper and a pencil.
What shape do you like to create?
The form or form, is guided by the concept that the art commands. But when I look at my work, I can say that natural, immature and appealing are the ones I really enjoy.
What has the making of clay made for you? Have you ever thought that you are somehow entering a natural cycle – death and rebirth?
Creation and destruction are related to clay, just as birth and death are the living. Clay changes continuously as the artist encounters it. It’s powerful. We design and modify the shape. We also repair clay. We add water to keep the clay from rotting, and this water can be destroyed before it can be burned. Clay changes with fire. The similarity of clay and life is abundant and it has been an inspiration to one of my works, called “Memory of Water”.
Do you always want to be creative, even when you are a kid?
I believe all children have a creative desire, and I was no different. I was fortunate that my mother noticed the behavior, encouraged me, and introduced me to a variety of genres.
Does your work enter into memories of childhood in any way?
My work affects everything I feel and experience, whether past or present, or hope for the future.
What do you wear when you work?
Anything that is very comfortable. They always live in cotton.
Does your skill inform your appearance in any way?
The values I possess in my life are the same as the principles I live by. In fact, I think the two of them encourage each other. Living and working honestly and passionately are my two most important things.
Is there any kind of Indian ceramic culture that you like? That you get inspiration from?
I love the terracotta utensils used in cooking in India. Some I use on my own at home. My “Kulhads” – their feminine touch, curvaceous midriffs and narrow necks – are a direct encouragement to their Indian counterparts. Every list I make plays with imagination, fun. They are minimal and descriptive, using language of color and form. This is my Indian-inspired interpretation everyone.
Has there ever been a specific time in your life that made everyone else aware?
Every moment is an experience. Every moment defines another. My years in art school were the turning point in my life, it changed my thinking. The depths that a person enters during the years of deep immersion informs our sense of life. From curiosity, art became a way of doing things, a way of life.
Do you have a favorite piece you made? Why do you like it more than others?
There’s an unforgettable experience – what I’ve learned and grown so much as an artist, it’s challenging. “Flight of the Bird”, a standing suspension spread over 10 ounces and weighing 50 pounds with “The Seed”, a seven-story mural that took a group of 20 people to install, and two artwork I tried. new and push the boundaries of my system.
What ideas feed your skills?
I am encouraged by every thought, every thought. I have made my views very moving on the days of despair and the most quiet form on the days of fun and excitement. It is as if the production process is in line with what is happening at the time. Learning from me has been able to identify and direct my thoughts through my work.
How has closure affected your production process?
Closing, for me, was a time of various ideas that just connected. The world outside is chaotic. Inside my studio it was quiet and quiet. My life was not disturbed by the outside world but still disturbed by the knowledge of what was happening. It was like living the life of two people at once. My production was inspired by this dual life.