It was a potent time for creative explorations. Inspired by Sri Chaitanya’s bhakti1 movement, people were in search of newer ways to forge ties – between themselves, between the self and the universe and beyond. 16th century Bengal2 was experiencing a resurgence which not only prompted poets and artists to find various forms of expressions, but also resulted in a rapid development of its own language. Architects and sculptors of the era grabbed this opportunity to create some of the finest works of terracotta art.
Ben Hammond’s interest in artistic pursuits did commence early in his life. Born in 1977, Ben spent early childhood in Pingree, Idaho. He graduated with a degree in illustration from Ricks College. However, it is his fondness of creating sculptural pieces that became evident with every passing day. He won both reputation and accolades through his sculptural work. The lost art of creating reliefs has also received a revival through his work. His efforts in this regard gained recognition and he was awarded the Dexter Jones Award for bas–relief from The National Sculpture Society, 2008 – 2010. He is also the recipient of Charlotte Geffken Prize, Brookgreen Gardens, 2010.
Ben Hammond’s work is not only an elaboration of human forms through sculpture but rather a vessel for storing and expressing the deepest thoughts that lurk within. The bronze models seem to expose their throbbing crimson heart to the audience to behold; they even grant a share of emotions to the audience for their beauty is forever imprinted in the mind’s eye of the viewers.
Eva Antonini was born in Rapperswil, Switzerland and spent much of her formative years there before moving to Geneva in 1981. Her artistic soul tried finding many outlets, through music and dance and even through her studies in linguistics. She traversed many a path, in England, United States, Italy, Middle and Far East. The gems of experience gathered from all these journeys and cultural interactions were collected with care and were tucked away into her heart that later on permeated into the moulds of clay or alabaster that Eva lovingly caressed and cajoled into various forms with her hands. Eva honed her skills under the watchful eyes of the masters in the studios of Oreste and Antonio Quattrini, Giorgio Eros Morandini, Giovanni Cimatti and Ettore Greco. She received honours during International Biennial of Contemporary Art in Florence in 2005. And it was only the beginning. The former student of linguistics has learnt to speak in a language that is all pervading in its sublimity.
Born in 1964 it is not until she turned 40 that Fenella Elms’s actively started modelling dreams on potter’s wheel. She was working as an Occupational Therapist for National Health Services then and found it befitting to create structures and patterns using ceramics as a medium. A recipient of Ceramic Review Award for Exceptional, Innovative and Challenging work at Ceramic Art London, Royal College of Art in 2011 Fenella’s work is a narration in ‘fragile permanence’.
Eleanor Roosevelt’s following words reverberate throughout Susan Clinard’s life, ‘The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience’. In actively seeking experiences through her work as a caseworker for foster children in Chicago working on the front lines in the community, schools, hospitals, and justice systems; collaborating with IRIS, a refugee resettlement agency in New Haven; being part of the teaching community (she taught with Gallery 37, an award winning arts education program); or shifting her base from Chicago to New Haven, Connecticut Susan fed her inner artist with life’s ironies to complement her active imagination.
Susan is also greatly influenced by her sister, accomplished Flamenco dancer, choreographer and painter Wendy Clinard. She received her degree in Sculpture and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Michigan in 1995. Susan and her husband Thierry are blessed with two sons Olivier and Léo Augustín.