Delhi

Shards of memory

The potter at the wheel. Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma  

Veteran artist, educationist, peace-activist, philosopher, potter, late Devi Prasad had infused the love for independent art in many. Celebrating his 92 birth anniversary and honouring his life, his students of pottery held an exhibition and gave presentations of their works from October 8-12 at the Sanskriti Kendra, Anandgram, Delhi.

Devi Prasad graduated from Shantiniketan and learnt directly under Rabindranath Tagore; he is widely known for his participation in the Quit India Movement alongside Mahatma Gandhi. He joined the War Resisters’ International (WRI) in the UK and served as the Joint Secretary, General Secretary and then went on to become the Chairman before returning to India in 1983. On his return, he continued his participation in the global anti-war movement, and meanwhile revived his love for art by establishing a studio pottery in Delhi and continuing his art work.

He continued to produce exceptional work and took in many students under him; he is fondly remembered as ‘Devi Da’ and ‘Devi Bhai’. He translated many works by Tagore, Gandhi and Antoine de Saint-Exupery into English, Hindi and Bengali along with publishing books and articles on peace studies, children’s art and education. He was awarded the Lalit Kala Ratna by Lalit Kala Akademi in 2007 and an honorary degree of Desikottama (Doctor of Literature) by Visva Bharati in 2008. He passed away in 2011, survived by his wife, two sons, a daughter and a lifetime of outstanding art work and contribution to the peace-studies discipline.

The exhibition is titled ‘Tea with Devi Da’, tea being the artist’s favourite beverage. The exhibition includes pottery work around the theme ‘tea time’ and has exhibits like jasmine tea cups, tea pots, vases of various styles, made of porcelain, stone ware work, with brush and wax work — all made by his students.

“When someone tells us that there is an influence of Devi Prasad in our work, it makes us feel very proud”, said Shehla Hashmi Garewal, Devi Da’s former student.

The exhibition featured two film screenings, one made by Devi Prasad himself, titled Pot Makes Itself and the other made by his wife Bindu Prasad on his life and work.

Correction

In the report "With fire in her belly" (October 11) it was inadvertently mentioned that Mr N. Ram had quit the journal Radical Review. He had not and was associated with it till the end. Also, IIT Madras was mentioned as IIT Chennai.


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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 5:08:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/shards-of-memory/article5225858.ece

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