Shirley Bhatnagar

Shirley Bhatnagar

Associate Professor

Profile Summary

Professor Shirley Bhatnagar, an alumna of the National Institute of Design, specializes in Industrial ceramics. Her work in ceramics and traditional crafts bridges art and design. She received the first international artist's exchange award between Indian Ceramics Triennial and British Ceramics Biennials in 2019, supported by the Charles Wallace Trust in the UK.

With over 20 years of experience, she is a renowned design professional, educator, and artist. Notably, she curates design shows in Delhi and Mumbai with established galleries. Professor Bhatnagar's signature style lies in her anthropomorphic ceramics, reflecting her passion for history and culture. Her unique blend of art and design continues to captivate audiences worldwide.

Work Experience

Before joining UPES, Prof. Bhatnagar established her studio, Irregular Beauty, specializing in unique handmade products. Her artistic expertise extended to various public and private commissions, enhancing interior spaces across India. As a professor at the Indian Institute of Crafts and Design, Jaipur, she played a pivotal role in curriculum development, managing the ceramics department, and facilitating student placements.

Her professional journey began in 1998 at Good Earth Studio, where she designed tableware and containers for a herbal cosmetic line. Prof. Bhatnagar's portfolio includes notable projects such as GVK International Airport in Mumbai, art installations for Grand Hyatt in Mumbai and Chennai, and a permanent crafts installation at the Indian School of Business in Mohali, Punjab, featuring turned wood crafts from Karnataka.

In 2011, she initiated the Fired Material Department at the Indian Institute of Crafts and Design, Jaipur. Her collaboration with the Government of India, the Ministry of Culture, resulted in creating turned wood artefacts for the ABCD design Gallery at Red Fort, New Delhi. Prof. Bhatnagar's dedication to her craft and her creative contributions continue to leave a lasting impact on the field of design and art.

Research Interests

  • The iconography of Folk Goddesses in India
  • History of Ceramics
  • Indus Valley Pottery
  • Company Paintings

Teaching Philosophy

Professor Shirley Bhatnagar, associated with the Foundation Department, utilizes the idea of enjoyment and play to teach challenging concepts. She firmly believes that creativity thrives in environments where students have the freedom to experiment and explore.

This approach may involve out-of-the-box solutions and assignments to foster new ways of thinking. As the digital world competes with the real world, she emphasizes numerous hands-on activities to ground students in practical experiences.

Through classroom assignments, students are encouraged to develop a deeper understanding of their local context, making design learning more relevant.

Courses Taught

Foundation courses: Elements of Design, Principles of Design, Colour, Material Explorations and Design Process.

Lifestyle and Accessory Design: Ceramics Module, Material Futures.

Awards and Grants

Prof. Shirley Bhatnagar received the Charles Wallace Grant in 2019 for a residency in ceramics with the British Ceramics Biennial in the United Kingdom.

Virtual SAF -Serendipity Arts Foundation grant in 2020. Artistic and Experimental Film on Indus Valley Pottery.

She has exhibited across India; some notable exhibitions are:

2012: Solo Show, Stories in Clay, Alliance Francaise, Gallerie Roman Rolland, New Delhi

2018: Group Show, Indian Ceramics Triennale, Jawahar Kala Kendra., Jaipur

2019: Group Show British Ceramics Biennial, Stoke Upon Trent, United Kingdom.