Priya Sundaravalli

I am Priya Sundaravalli from the International cultural township of Auroville in Tamil Nadu. My professional engagement with ceramics started at a later age. I am a medical doctor by training (MBBS India 1986-1992) and I also have 2 post graduate degrees in Biomedical Engineering (Drexel University 1992-1995) and Industrial & Operations Engineering (University of Michigan Ann Arbor 1995-2002) from the USA. My exposure to ceramics happened during the last year of my studies at the University of Michigan when I signed up for classes at the art school. In 2002, I returned back to India, teaching science at the local schools in Auroville while ceramics remained a hobby. In 2012, I decided to fully plunge into ceramics. I took a sabbatical, returned to the USA to study under my teacher, the late Felipe Ortega, a master craftsman in micaceous pottery of the Jicarilla Apache tribe, in New Mexico USA. Since then, I am a full-time ceramic artist working out of my studio ‘Pottery Sipapu’ in Auroville.

My work is inspired by the poetry and the beauty of Life, as well as life’s qualities of abundance and hope. My creative process relies on spontaneity and serendipity. I work by hand-building and use a variety of techniques for decorative effects. The works undergo multiple firings in an electric or wood fuel kiln.

I have participated in eight solo shows (six in India, and two in S. Korea) and multiple group shows including the one at Taoxichuan in the year 2019. I have participated in ceramic residencies outside India such as at the Clayarch Gimhae Museum, South Korea (2014), the EKWC The Netherlands (2018) and at the Jingdezhen International Studio (2019). In 2020, I received the guest artist fellowship at the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park, Japan, which has been postponed due to the pandemic.

My ceramic work is in several collections both in India and abroad: the Wistaria Tea house in Taipei, the Jaya He GVK New Museum at the new Mumbai International airport, the Aravind Eye hospital in Chennai, as well as the Busan Domestic Airport (S. Korea).

Since December 2021, I have been elected as member of the International Academy of Ceramics.