Weaving stories in clay: Artist Shalan Dere

Weaving stories in clay: Artist Shalan Dere

Meeting the charismatic, humble sculptor and ceramist Shalan Dere was a sheer delight. A self-trained potter who went on to carve her own journey, has come a long way in 20 years. In her own words; “Absence of any formal training allowed me to go through a rewarding process of trial, error and creative experimentation over the years.” Her sculptures started out clearly enough as polite, wheel-thrown vessels but evolved into stories with human figures in their uninhibited form.

Shalan Dere with her signature bench sculpture

Exhibiting currently at the Jahengir Art Gallery her exhibit called ‘contemporary lines’ displays her new series of works on human forms. Strikingly her figures catches the viewers attention with a clear reason of them being horizontal on wooden planks. And I felt these were among the strongest works in the show.

New series on horizontal figures

Shalan’s motivation clearly come from her own surroundings, according to her, “My inspiration comes from nature and people – the joy of working with clay is the perfect reflection of my attitude to life. Clay is malleable, it responds to every touch, and you can make wonderful and unexpected shapes with it – very much like life, which gives back as much joy, energy and creativity as you put in!”

Shalan inspires us with her enthusiasm towards life and her infectious creative flow. Wishing Shalan Dere a satisfying journey ahead. You can find her works here.

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