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Ceramics & Glass (MA)

Ekta Bagri

Ekta Bagri, from Kolkata, India, is an emerging ceramist and visual artist. She honed her craft at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she obtained a BA in Fine Art & History of Art. Her research, undertaken during her tenure at the Royal College of Art and using facilities at Imperial College London, earned her a coveted nomination for a 2023 D&AD Award in the Future Impact Category.

Her work has been displayed at celebrated events and institutions such as Clerkenwell Design Week, the Saatchi Gallery, the Pumphouse Gallery, and Peckham Levels, among other notable group exhibitions in London. On the international front, her sculptures have been showcased at the Maison et Objet in Paris, and she has upcoming exhibits in Madrid and the Luxembourg Art Fair.

A memorable highlight of Ekta's career was her selection for a research residency with La Wayaka Currents in the Atacama desert, Chile. Here, she left an enduring mark with her ceramics, which are now a permanent installation.

At present, Ekta is developing a community-engagement art installation for the Museum in the Park, Stroud, in collaboration with Cotswold Archaeology.

I am sitting on top on my desk, surrounding by my rammed earth sculptures & bricks made from soil & clay.

‘Care is everything that is done (rather than everything that ‘we’ do) to maintain, continue, and re-pair ‘the world’ so that all (rather than ‘we’) can live in it as well as possible.’ - Maria Puig De La Bellacasa


This ethos raises a pertinent question: 

What would our environment resemble had no transformations occurred?

Ekta, an artist deeply entwined with the Earth's fabric, sets her focus on rekindling the human-land connection in an age characterised by escalating ecological concerns. Her work delves into the intricate narratives of origin, locale, and identity. Ekta takes her audience on an enlightening exploration of waste as a viable material, thereby demonstrating the potential of an art practice that minimises the generation of waste.

Uniting the domains of science and art, her installations form a harmonious link between the human and the non-human realms, a symbiosis between the microscopic world and the corporeal form.

In Ekta's creative process, the narrative of the land is the heartbeat of her work. Her materials are procured and deeply informed by conversations, investigations of construction sites, and visits to gardens. Through her practice she portrays the reorganisation of nature such that it is conceived of the soil and ultimately returns to its origins. The layered interplay and intricate entanglement of materials in her sculptures engender a distinct ecological aura.

an ecology of materials. 

Image showing the corner of a rectangle block made with soil & clay & natural pigments that have been manually compressed.
धरती, earth 'Earth Block' is made with soil that has been collected from a local resident in Hackney, that was renovating his garden. Kindly donating 12 big bags of soil, the soil was rich in London Local clay & dirt. This was manually sieved, processed, and rammed into wooden blocks, to create a landscape of land.
An image showing the top layer of the soil block, which has been stamped with Hindi letter saying water.
' पानी', water Reconnecting with my roots, the stamped connotation of 'water' in Hindi, embraces the nature as the true manufacturers of such earth blocks.
Showing details of the soil block, with layers of different colours ranging from orange, red, brown, streaks of white, yellow.
धरती, earth, detailsDetailed shot of the layered soil, mixed with natural pigments, and manually compressed.
An image showing a rectangle block made of soil, locally sourced and pigmented with natural colours.
भूमि, landA superimposition of locally & ethically sourced soil from construction site, in Randall Close.
A close up image of the soil block, showing different colours of soil ranging from red, yellow, orange, white, brown.
भूमि, land, detailA detailed image of भूमि, land.
An image showing the imprints of the layered soil, onto the wall of the wooden mould.
Imprints of भूमि, landLayers of soil, imprinted onto the wooden formwork of the soil block. A naturally formed painting.
A close up image of soil block, showing the landscape of coloured soil layered on top of each other.
भूमि, land,detailDetailed image of भूमि, land.
'The Clay Cycle' movieA film made by Ekta Bagri showcasing an interview with an 8th generation potter, discussing the human relationship with clay as a material that can be used as a source of passion, emotions, and a way of living. The story goes on to describe the life & death of clay as a material: being made, broken, and made again. The constant cycle of clay that continues to remain the basis foundation in the field of making ceramics, thus showcasing its versatility to the viewers. Credits to Daniel Skraburski for clips

About 'The Clay Cycle'

The heart of the research I undertake revolves around the exploration of materials, aiming to provide a solution for the prominent issue of waste generation, a problem particularly prominent in the field of crafting. Unfired works serve as the core showcase of the project, which deeply investigates themes such as location, provenance, and the materiality of Earth.

The raw materials for the works come from waste soils, collected predominantly from construction sites and rich in wild clay. The technique of rammed earth and bacteria concrete, an intriguing bio-material, is the key in creating an ecosystem within the art pieces. Sculptures crafted from Earth initiate a 'clay cycle' - born of Earth, returning to Earth.

The heavy influence of material research is evident in the works, shaped by many conversations with researchers, professors, students, construction workers, and local residents. Drawing from these exchanges and personal experiences, the intention is to weave a space that bridges the gap between the human and the non-human world.


Soil, clay, natural pigment, AV
A block of concrete that has been created with bacteria broth, to make it live & repair itself naturally.
Living Concrete
Microscopic image of Living Concrete, showing white spots onto the body of concrete. Confirming that the concrete lives.
Microscopic image of Living ConcreteMicroscopic image of the living concrete block, taken at Future Materials lab, Royal College of Art.
A scanned image of a full block of living concrete
Living Concrete blockA scanned image of a full block of living concrete, credits to Ziyu Wang
Living Concrete Microscopic VideoLiving Concrete Microscopic Video, obtained from Imperial College London, Department of Bioengineering. The tiny dot movements in certain gaps, shows the living bacteria within the concrete body. This confirms my research of making a 'living concrete.'

About 'Living Concrete'

The Living Concrete is an extra project I had undertaken as way to maintain the sustainable aspect of my install. The soil blocks are bonded with the living concrete, which provides a monumental structure.

A picture of me digging waste soil at a construction site and sieving it in black buckets,
Processing Earth at a Construction siteProcessing waste soil at a construction site, in Randall Close, Battersea.
An image showing a mountain of waste soil, collected at a construction site.
Mountain of Soil
A landscape formed on a tree bark, with half of it layered in snow.
A snowy landscape
A picture showing a textured tree trunk
Surface Emergence
 A picture showing bits of snow, moss-like coloured grass, and beige ground.
Green landscape