Born in 1962, Ramesh studied fine arts at the prestigious Madras College of Arts & Crafts. After moving to Auroville in the 90’s he offered his talents and skills to the Pavillion of Indian Culture in Bharat Nivas and to the schools. Most recently he helped to manage the Gallery Square Circle, Kalakendra. He continues to teach art in Auroville schools and is an executive of the Auroville Art Service. His notable public art installations in Auroville include one in Anusuya Forest and one in Udavi School.

“I have never really thought about my relationship with art because it is my way of being. For me, art is about digging into the mystery. Amongst my other work, I make terracotta seals inspired by terracotta seals found in archeology. Art helps me bridge the gap between what I do and what I preach because I am better able to express myself through art than any other medium. I don’t like displaying my work anymore but some of my work was displayed in Kalakendra. I fear that there is commodification of art happening and I would like to display my art if I see people interacting with art more closely.

I think there are not enough funds for artists to take up a project and do something original and authentic. When there are no funds, an artist has to make something that pleases the public eye for survival. Hence there is less scope for exploration. I think art is to explore the idea of “Who am I?”.

The eastern philosophy of art is being at one with the material you are working with. Hence lies my interest in pottery where I feel at one with the material that I am working with and there is hardly any scope of objectification of the art piece. I believe that activism art is very clear with the message that it is giving. I don’t do activism art but I do acknowledge it’s need in the society. My way of doing art is to play around with it. Art is not merely about learning or mastering a skill. It’s about creating something,
breaking it, creating and then breaking some more. Here you go beyond the idea of mastering something. You go towards exploring your inner self.

When it comes to tribal art, I think tribal art is often seen as craft. There is a very blurred line between craftsmen and artists. Both have complexity and intricacy in their work. This intricacy and complexity is a reflection of what’s within you. A good artist will always have his art work reflecting his inner self. This comes only when you are spiritual… I think one really needs to be spiritual to be a good artist.”

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