Background Ira Chaudhuri is an eminent artist in studio pottery. It’s a lesser-known art form that is distinct from commercial pottery. Studio pieces are unique works of art, and not necessarily functional. A website to display her work over 50+ years of her life was planned.
Observations and Strategy By itself, studio pottery is relatively obscure. We realised that if the website’s purpose was extended, to be more than a catalogue, to be of interest to a wider community, it would get more views.
Digging deeper, we realised that the potter’s life, and her journey as an artist held many lessons which would be of interest to specific groups: artists generally, professional peers, aspiring potters and students, and art collectors.
And for a more general public, an introduction to the field itself was necessary. It could, we realised, become an assertion of pottery’s distinctiveness and importance, both of which are important concerns for Ira Chaudhuri.
The website experience, therefore, should be more than a ctalogue. It ought to intertwine Ira Chaudhuri’s work with a view into her life and its influence on her art. It should be as a resource for collectors, gallery owners and critics. It's purpose would be to inspire and inform, about temperament, technique and leading a life as an artist.
Design A lens-like navigation device shows teasing views of details of pots, overlaid with short text—stories, learnings, and inspirations—creating a highly immersive experience for the viewer. Essential sections dedicated to her life, her body of work, and writings are available to the interested viewer.
But even the most casual can glimpse her personally as an artist, enjoy the theme-at-a-glance chunks that her long journey has been broken into. Or just be tempted by the sheer beauty of the works.
Themed mini-sections introduce us to techniques and repertoire. The closely cropped photos and one-line descriptions provide an inviting introduction. The website enables a walk through her life and work. An evocation of the celebrated artist, and a medium for others to understand, appreciate and explore the art of studio pottery.
Impact Given the exclusive nature of the subject, the site has elicited huge interest among the pottery and the wider arts community. It also won the CII design excellence award 2016 for best website in Interaction design category. With some funding, the site is set to be developed further and grow.