Amita Bhakta's exhibition, "Moments of Radiance" will be on display at Kentuck's Museum Gallery until October 1, 2023. Watch Amita's Artist Talk and read the blog below.
In 1976, Amita Bhakta moved from India as a teenager and came to the United States, and she is now settled in the Tennessee Valley region of North Alabama. Her work, spanning from clay to painting to mixed media, represents stories from the land of her ancestors, stories that have followed Amita into her present and future.
Amita believes that art helps society to flourish and renew itself. No matter the medium she uses, Amita's aim is to create pieces that are externally eye-capturing, motivate internal thought, and soothe the soul. Many of her pieces are inspired by Sanskrit texts and proverbs, verses from Hindu religious texts, and mythology.
"India is a very diverse country. We have twenty-two languages that are recognized by the constitution. And hundreds that are not. With each language, there is a new culture." - Amita Bhakta
For Amita, her paintings are like sonnets that tell stories with color, lines, and shapes that challenge, excite, and immerse. Amita remembers that, at age six, on a rooftop in India, her cousin taught her how to color in the same direction with her colored pencils. This began her fervent fascination with color, eventually leading her to create with two very different mediums in paint: first acrylics; and more recently, oil.
Her artistic process involves deeply resonating with select lines in the text of her culture and religion, then proceeding to make that story come to life in a vibrant way, relating it to her own life and experiences.
"...this is an original portrait of the lines which are in Bhaghavad Gita...At the end, it says... 'I gained knowledge; my desires are dissipated.' And I thought 'how can I show that my desires have dissipated?" - Amita Bhakta
On December 14, 2012, a mass shooting occurred in Newton, Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary School, claiming the lives of 20 children and 6 adult staff members. Amita describes being paralyzed by the grief that took hold of her and many others others internationally. In the days following the tragedy, she found herself unable to create until a friend suggested she attempt another medium.
That is when Amita began creating using clay. Amita previously took a sculpture class at a local university, and this was her first time creating with clay.
"It's now an ever-consuming addiction that I cannot get rid of. Time and time again, I return to the urge of of taking wet, pliable clay in my hands and letting my imagination roll. Whatever self-discipline I have in creating functional ware, I lose it in sculpting. I rely purely on the intuition flowing from my hands and imagination. Whether in times of stress, deep sorrow, or joy—I can decompress by letting my creativity harness my emotions." - Amita Bhakta
Amita's piece "Circle of Love", featuring 6 adult figures and 20 sculptures of children, is a reaction and dedication to the Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting. Additionally, her work "At the Marathon Humanity Cried" is in dedication to the victims, families, and first-responders of the Boston Marathon tragedy.
At one point, Amita attempted to sculpt a clay flower for every person killed by gun violence within a year. However, she soon found herself unable to keep up with the growing number.
Amita Bhakta's work will be on display at the Kentuck Museum Gallery until October 1, 2023. To learn more about Amita and her works, please visit her website.
We encourage you to visit this show in person during our open hours of Monday-Friday, 9:30am-5:30pm and Saturday-Sunday, 12pm-4pm. Please call Kentuck at 205-758-1257 or email email@example.com to inquire about purchasing any of Amita's available works.
Not for Sale Work: