Me……. Mamta Singh Devaa
I am the first lady potter of the country who has done Masters in Fine Arts in POTTERY & CERAMICS in India.
Both my Bachelors & Masters Degree was done under (amongst others), Shri. K.V. Jena Sir, who I believe is the father figure of Pottery, Ceramics and Design in India. He not only inspired me but was instrumental in my process of design, technique and forms. Shri. Balbir Singh Katt guidance on how an artist should be mentally strong and firm, remains with me even today. The strict disciplinarian, Dr. Anjan Chakraverti, was the reason why I ever took studies seriously (and with interest). Bhattacharya Sir, ….and many more … I owe my respects to them all for shaping my skills, views and thought process.
My innumerous colleagues and friends … all are responsible for my pleasant memories of my college days. They continue to be my inspiration and critic till today.
My first ever show was as early as in 1988. Since then, I have till my marriage, I have taken part in innumerous shows, in Varanasi and also in New Delhi, Calcutta & Bombay. My art works are in private both in India & abroad. I was awarded the National Cultural Scholarship, Ministry of H.R.D., Government Of India in 1994.
Marriage and motherhood slowed me down for about 18 years, but my design books were constantly growing. Restarting after such a long gap was a challenge. My will power and support of my friends made my restart a resounding success.
My return to the art community was welcomed with selections and awards in the 56th. National Exhibition of Art, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi and 19th & 20th. All India Potters Exhibition organized by AIFACS, New Delhi.
Another feather was added to the cap with the grant of Senior Fellowship (Pottery & Ceramics).
While retaining the intricacies and nuances of basic pottery I soon graduated on to Ceramic Sculptures. I now have added my poems to my sculptures ….. I bring forth the detrimental practices prevalent in the society through my sculptures ….. depict humour and mythology and heritage through my sculptures ….. a lot has been done, a lot has to be done …..
Earlier, way back in 1993, I was the first person to have done research on the Black Pottery of Nizamabad, in Azamgarh, UP.
Later, I took the artisans of Nizamabad for a promotional live demonstration, at the SPIC MACAY International Festival at Jaipur in 2005. I continue to guide and advice the artisans on their core competency, but short sightedness of promoters and officials may soon see the end of this art. Artisans are moving away from their traditional art to mere painting of their wares through water / oil colours. !
I have been associated with various schools and students in educating them on career options in the field of art. I have also provided government bodies like HUDCO and Chunar Clay Industry, inputs and consultation on red clay techniques and modern processes
Besides promoting art and artist through my sister concern, I am on the board of an international art forum BAG.