ceramic artist, painter, architect

Adil Writer is a Potter, Ceramist, Painter and Architect from Bombay, currently living and working in Auroville, where he is a partner at Mandala Pottery which produces functional tableware and assorted ceramic items, and also specializes in architectural ceramic murals & installations. From his own Studios at Mandala, he creates his own line of ceramic works.

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treas•ure......... said [trezh-er]
1. wealth or riches stored or accumulated, esp. in the form of precious metals, money or jewels.
2. wealth, rich materials, or valuable things.
3. any thing or person greatly valued or highly prized.
4. to retain carefully or keep in store, as in the mind.
5. to regard or treat as precious; to cherish.
6. to put away for security or future use, as money.

TREASURES is a solo showing of ceramics and paintings by Auroville artist, Adil Writer, at Bangalore’s Gallery Time & Space

A focal point of the show will be miniature treasure boxes made of a variety of clays.... small intimate objects that want you to hold them, discover hidden secrets within ....and, on them..... cradle them, turn them around, open them, explore.....

The paintings on show are acrylics on canvas..... some, I categorize "painted media"..... starting out as "bad" pixellated photos on small phone camera, then photoshopped, later printed on canvas, stretched on wooden frames, and finally painted upon......... almost to a point where the original photographic images are past-life memories!


The Red Dot series and the scribbled writings on my work have somehow become my identity. "I am inspired by humble street shrines and ancient texts and civilisations. The red dot (or puttu or tilo) has a special significance in Indian culture and somewhere along the way it found itself imbibed in my work. My Parsi roots also have the ever present "tilo", smeared on one’s forehead on auspicious occasions..... I find the aesthetic of this dot so strong, it can transform a simple piece into something sacred. Though my surname is Writer, I don’t subject the viewer to my outpourings. Text is from diverse sources. Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem, Savitri, the sublime Gulzar, or lyrics from some western musicians who I consider the true bards of the twentieth century. This is all featured in my current work which will be on show in a solo show in Bombay in October, under the working title 'Covers'. The red dot is graduating into the red chakra too.....and I am still exploring it........ Especially after Deborah Smith of GBP presented me a book on the Japanese 'enso'".


My ceramic work takes me to far corners of the world and I am grateful for that. Travelling.... and interacting with "foreign" potters surely opens up fresh avenues, fresher approaches. 2007 saw me in Australia at an international invitational event, CLAY EDGE, where I demonstrated the building and firing of fire-stabilized mud houses, as pioneered in Pondicherry and elsewhere in India by my teacher, Ray Meeker of the Golden Bridge Pottery in Pondicherry.

This event led to an invitation to Shanghai, China for an international teapot show, in which I have now been participating every year. In China I met two invited potters from Estonia. They invited me to the 10th International Wood-firing Symposium in Kohila, Estonia and a ceramic exhibition at the Knightshood Assembly Gallery in Tallinn, Estonia.


I met Italian ceramist, Mirta Morigi in Australia at the Clay Edge Symposium. Subsequently, she visited India earlier this year, and spent two weeks in Auroville where she worked at my studio. The last part of my ceramic – related travels in Europe this year saw me in Faenza, Italy as a guest of Mirta’s. Here I worked briefly at her studio (they call it a bottega). Some of the works I made there are on show at TREASURES, others are in the catalogue, too new and original for me to part with!;-)

Working in a new studio, in a new setting with new materials and different firings lead to fresh aesthetics in the resulting work..... very apparent in the body of work I have made in Faenza.


Auroville is known internationally for its contemporary architecture. I could have stayed on as an architect but veered towards ceramics. For me pottery is still architecture, it’s just a change of scale... so it has been a smooth transition." At Golden Bridge Pottery, besides the intense clay experience, I worked with Ray Meeker on his fired-house projects in 1999, wherein vaults &/or domes are built with unfired mud bricks, and the entire structure is fire like a large kiln, stabilising the form and making it habitable. A couple of years ago, I was invited to an international convention in Australia called Clay Edge where I demonstrated the building and firing of this technique of earth-architecture.

CRUSADE series

Painting for me is a what-I-see-is-what-I-get medium.

I have been paintings, I am told, since I was three. today I am an intoxicated (inebriated? plastered?)"ceramic artist" (I don’t quite like the "ceramic artist" title, but...:-)...however, I stay with my paintings cause it frees me from the confines of a heady, head-strong restricted palette of clays, glazes and cone ten firings.

in India, I feel claywork is still shunted into the confines of humble craft which is probably why knowledge about ceramic art in India has not yet reached the giddy heights mustered by paintings. the crusade for me is to try and bridge this gap. (this is something that has already taken off with the works of ceramists in India; Ray Meeker, Daroz, Kakker, among others, who commandeer respect in the Indian art scene.) My ceramic-painting combinations (I call the series the CRUSADE SERIES) try and bring the two mediums together.... inviting one to touch, feel, experience the surfaces. I have seen people paint on clay to make it painterly.... the otherwayaround, I have yet to see.

I am looking forward to TREASURES in Bangalore’s Gallery Time & Space. It’s been five years since my last solo show in Bangalore. This time around, the work has changed drastically..... and it will be the first time I will be showing my paintings in this city. Looking forward to the experience.

Adil Writer

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