Kindred Fire: shared stories

Kindred Fire

Kaveri Bharath and Radhika Krish are two Chennai-based artists shaping narratives through their chosen mediums of ceramic and glass, respectively.

In this exhibition, fire takes centre stage, becoming the alchemical force that shapes and breathes life into their creations.The transformative journey of firing, fusing, vitrifying and melting materials, becomes a deeply personal expression, reflecting the essence of their lives.

Kaveri and Radhika’s works are influenced by multifarious aspects of their individual identities as artist, woman, wife, mother, feminist, Chennai-defined yet globally attuned safe pyromaniacs!

This show brings out aspects of what comes naturally to them as well as what in nature influences them - how they were brought up and nurtured by family, by environment, by this city. There is nostalgia and how the past informs the imagination and shapes current practice is palpable, making the artworks created a rich tapestry of personal and professional experiences that are singular yet kindred.

From transparent paper planes caught in mid flight, to small whimsical whistles growing on a tree; from pregnant belly forms holding the impression and memories of the child within, to myriad hues of broken and melted bangles that question superstitions - this exhibition is but a glimpse into the process, playfulness, and ponderings of Kaveri and Radhika. At once a window revealing lived experiences and a mirror reflecting the environment that decisively shaped its contours.


Kaveri Bharath (Ceramic)
Radhika Krish (Glass)

About the artists:

Kaveri Bharath - Ceramics

Kaveri Bharath, a ceramic artist and educator, trained in the mid-1990s, under Ray Meeker and Deborah Smith at the Golden Bridge Pottery, Pondicherry. She set up her studio in Chennai soon after, and has been working in, and teaching, clay work and kiln building ever since.

One of the city’s earliest studio potters, (28 years and counting), her training was in wood fired ceramics, and she has built and fired many wood fired kilns (and pizza ovens), for institutions, restaurants, and studios. However, her studio being in the city, wood firing was not an option, and so she built herself a gas fired kiln. She tries to still maintain the aesthetics of wood fired ware, wherever possible. She crowdfunded and built herself a wood fired soda kiln outside the city, for a few years, but maintaining and working in two places so far from each other did not prove viable and she took down the wood fired kiln, just before the pandemic. She now wholly works in gas fired ceramics.

She has always loved to teach, especially young people, and has taught in depth courses and short-term workshops in her own studio, as well as in schools and colleges, including NID Ahmedabad. She is currently visiting faculty for the Global Arts at Krea University, Sri City.

Although she been making and selling functional table ware for the last few years, she has participated in shows of her sculptural ceramic art work in Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, and Delhi, in the past. She returns to such work with this show, after a break of quite a few years.

Kaveri believes in letting all aspects and her many interests, slip into her work – whether it is her love for working with textiles, or her love for sketching. Her interest in working with the physics and chemistry of pottery and kilns comes through - her glazes which were all formulated by her from scratch, as well as in the kiln she fires, which she built for herself. She enjoys using science in expressing her art, and to make even whimsical objects. Her children, her friends, her cousins, her parents, and even her extended family have an influence over what she makes and how.

Radhika Krish - Glass

Radhika Krish,, a BFA graduate from Ohio State University, seamlessly transitioned from an IT database programmer to a seasoned glass artist with over 12 years of expertise.

She founded Chennai’s first of its kind glass studio, Goli Soda Glass Studio, which is dedicated to providing a unique learning experience while promoting sustainability through recycled glass. Radhika is one of the very few player in introducing the studio glass in India, offering comprehensive instruction in hot, warm, and cold glass techniques.

She has had her work shown nationally and internationally including Urban Arts Space Ohio and Glass Axis Ohio, The Bikaner House, New Delhi. Radhika's wearable glass art has graced prestigious Glass Fashion Shows in Murano and Toledo, showcasing her unique fusion of creativity and craftsmanship. Her work has been featured in several local and national publications in India including The Hindu, Deccan Chronicle and others.

Radhika engages as a regular speaker at art symposiums and artist talks in various local educational institutions including NIFT, passionately educating audiences about the enchanting world of glass art, particularly emphasizing the potential of discarded and locally sourced materials. Radhika has had several installations including at TEDX Chennai, The Spoken Wave Festival for mental health awareness, and at Apex Pharmaceuticals corporate headquarters.

I delve into the extraordinary potential inherent in the ordinary glass abundantly available in my local surroundings. Commonplace glass objects such as bottles, window glass, and glass bangles, gets a new life as they transform and take on a new meaning under my hands.

Nature, Nurture, and Nostalgia serve as the deep wellsprings of my creative inspiration. Living alongside Chennai's expansive coastline, the wonders of the ocean ignites my imagination. Simultaneously, the remnants left behind – empty and broken bottles – serve as a constant reminder to conscientiously utilize available materials, a deliberate choice I make to ensure the sustainability of my artistic practice. As a mother of four, the interplay of nature and nurture weaves a significant thread into my life. Having lived and experienced both Indian and American cultures, nostalgia adds another layer to my creative reservoir.

Beyond the three Ns, I let chosen glass objects guide my art. Discarded bottles, for example, evoke reflections on nature and human impact, inspiring nature-themed pieces. Glass bangles, with their cultural associations, become a medium for me to symbolize personal journeys, breaking, melting, and reshaping as a metaphor for undoing societal conditioning and reclaiming individual choice.

At my artistic core, I find joy in experimentation, embracing the unpredictable nature of glass with childlike enthusiasm. It's not solely about the final piece but the continuous learning embedded in each creation. Glass, to me, becomes a medium for preserving the essence of my inner child-a journey of rediscovery and expression through the transformative art of glass.

The exhibition will open at The Gallery @ InKo Centre on Friday, 23 February 2024 at 6.00 p.m. and will be on view until Tuesday, 19 March 2024.
(except Sundays and published holidays).

Complementary events:
Saturday, 24 February 2024: Interaction with artists at 11.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.
Saturday, 2 March 2024: Glass cutting workshop at 3.00 p.m. [Registration Closed].
A presentation at 4.30 p.m. by Radhika Krish. [Entry to all - Limited seating first come, first served].
Saturday, 9 March 2024: Artists’-led walk through at 11.00 a.m. [Entry to all - Limited seating first come, first served].
Saturday, 16 March 2024: Clay whistle making workshop at 3.00 p.m. [Registration Closed].
A presentation at 4.30 p.m. by Kaveri Bharath. [Entry to all - Limited seating first come, first served].
(The Gallery @ InKo Centre open on Saturday)