Hi I am Anjali Muntha, b. 2000 in Hyderabad and raised in Mysore. I graduated with a degree in Management Studies in 2020. Throughout my working life I have always enjoyed working with people, so during my college days, I chose to work in the Human Resource field as an intern at Nestle and Cyient. After graduating, I worked at a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) based start-up. I developed meaningful relationships with parents and taught kids SEL skills. However, after a long period of dealing with debilitating anxiety issues, I sought after a change of environment. I became attracted to a nearby pottery studio in search of peace. The first time I held clay in my hands, I knew in my heart that I wanted to pursue it for the rest of my life. The soft and cold sensation of it gave me a break from my negative emotions for the first time in several months. From this, I went on to complete my teacher training course in pottery and sculpting. Currently, I am working as an instructor in Dharamkot Studio where I continue to utilise my social outreach skills through my daily interaction with students who are interested in learning ceramics.

Artist Statement: My multidisciplinary practice, involving ceramics, painting, illustration and sculpture, has evolved through my autodidactic exploration into the art world. Since my pivotal switch towards ceramics in 2022, I have felt a deep connection to this medium as a salient aspect of my self-expression. Currently, my work revolves around pairings of opposing themes; anxiety and healing, death and repair, grief and humour. After I construct various functional pieces such as plates, mugs and planters, I explore these themes by creating a narrative directly onto the surface of the piece through painting and illustration. I have always been submerged in the fantastical world of storytelling and daydreaming.

In my school years, my teachers threw chalk at me when I used to fall into trance-like states of daydreaming. Throughout my years of suffering with anxiety, this escapism became a coping mechanism for me as I made up scenarios to distract me from reality. Now, drawing inspiration from nature and my own life, I like to use my work as a personal diary. I paint colourful and whimsical illustrations that at first glance are seemingly humorous when in actuality they depict a darker subject matter.

I enjoy working with this duality of dark and light as a way of wrestling with difficult themes, it allows easy initiation of conversation into these topics in a disarming and relaxed way. A practice that I have taken from my earlier working life is now translated into my ever-evolving artwork.