Shirley Bhatnagar
Anthropomorphism with a sense of Humor


Shirley Bhatnagar is a ceramics artist and Industrial designer based in New Delhi, India. Creates quirky hand-crafted works in porcelain and stoneware with a sense of humor. The work celebrates imperfections and irregularity of the human hand thus the name Irregular beauty. “Series Anthropomorphic” means to personify inanimate objects or forms. Anthropomorphic and Zoomorphic (animal features) forms have existed in clay as vessels, small modeled figurines, et al, since ancient times and across continents and cultures. In certain cultures they have taken on magical and spiritual meanings, like in depiction of deities: the Indian deity Ganesha, a boy with an elephant head, the Sphinx of Egypt, amongst others. Additionally, the world over, museums hold fantastical collections of anthropomorphic pottery. Looking at examples and images of ancient pottery, we find symbolic anthropomorphic and Zoomorphic combinations.
The work takes the primitive idea of anthropomorphism and gives it a contemporary twist, tableware that comes to life as each cup, jug, or bowl with their various physical have their own unique personality, replete with lines drawings and imagery in the crazed wonderland of pots and pans. Almost all the works are looking sideways and never at you, excluding you, the viewer, from their world. You don’t belong, this is our world, our theatre – but you can come watch us play.