Famous ceramist G Reghu’s new exhibition features sculptures inspired by rural life

A mentor to the late Gandhian architect Laurie Baker and his doctor wife Elizabeth Chandy Baker, the Kerala-born artist G Reghu is a name to be reckoned with. The 63-year-old artist is known for his ceramic and terracotta work, which draws inspiration from tribal and rural life.

Today, Bengaluru-based Reghu presents a new Recent Works exhibition at Sumukha Gallery. All ceramic sculptures capture the slow life of rural India. Exhibits include figurines depicting scenes such as a group of authors sitting in their armchairs with their writing paraphernalia spread around them, a young girl relaxing with a cat in her lap, and men reclining on a mat taking a nap.

“In terms of subjects, I have always explored village life. But I have never followed a theme or chosen to give a title to any of my exhibitions because I want people to observe my work and draw their own ideas,” explains the artist. The distinction of these works of art is Reghu’s incorporation of a mixture of Dravidian and African characteristics into the figurines. Prominent noses, bulging eyes, thick lips and large ears give these works a notable singularity. Each sculpture is fired at 1,280 degrees centigrade in a wood-fired kiln in his workshop located on Kanakpura Road.

His sculptures also include figures of animals and birds. “Anything related to nature — be it a cat, a dog, a cow or a crow — finds its place in my works. I don’t like the color too much so most of them are in earth tones. I used splashes of color only on smaller figures,” he explains. The sculptural groups that have been curated are quite evocative and can transport you to a different time or place.

“In the villages, families and animals all lived together and that’s what I try to capture. Also, during the confinement, I spent days working in my studio and all my ideas are expressed through these exhibitions, but the exhibition of two men lying on the carpet represents me when I was tired and I wanted to relax,” Reghu signs with a smile.

Until July 16. At the Sumukha Gallery, Wilson Garden.