Exploring the deep relationship between the human and non-human, between the constructed and the inherited, Ashwini Bhat (Petaluma, CA) creates sculptures inviting viewers to interact with the revealed and the hidden. Trained in wheel-throwing methods, Bhat transitioned to hand-building in order to expand and better articulate her passion for form. She often introduces radical but somehow familiar shapes that suggest the complex interplay between landscape and body. Bhat’s work addresses concerns that are decidedly international. She notes, “If I speak several languages, if I can call on my background in literature and dance, perhaps I can apply my distinctive experience to my work in order to cross some of the borders that keep empathy, feeling, and even beauty bound.”
Bhat studied with American expatriate Ray Meeker at Golden Bridge Pottery in Pondicherry, India. Prior to her career as a visual artist, she studied and performed Indian classical dance, Bharatanatyam, and traveled extensively with the Padmini Chettur Dance Company. She received her MA in Literature & Translation Studies from Bangalore University.
Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at locations including Shoshana Wayne Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), Lucy Lacoste Gallery (Concord, MA), Cavin-Morris Gallery (New York, NY), Cohen Gallery at Brown University (Providence, RI), the American Jazz Museum (Kansas City, MO), the Newport Art Museum (Newport, RI), Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park (Japan), India Art Fair (India), FuLe International Ceramic Art Museum (China), and Woodfire Tasmania (Australia). Her sculpture also has been widely reviewed and featured in Brooklyn Rail (USA), Lana Turner: A Journal of Poetry and Opinion (USA), Riot Material (USA), Ceramics: Art + Perception (USA/Australia), Ceramics Ireland (Ireland), New Ceramics (Germany), Caliban (USA), Craft Arts International (Australia), Studio Potter (USA), Logbook (Ireland), and Ceramics Monthly (USA).
Bhat is the guest curator for the 77th Scripps College Annual, Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery, Claremont, CA.