Interview with Anu Mahadev
What is your background?
I have always harbored a creative side and have worked with several different art mediums. I felt called to become a physician early on and find it very gratifying to take care of others in this way. My specialties are neurology and sleep medicine.
I grew up in Mumbai, India, and came to the US to pursue a career in medicine. I initially did an internship at Duke University, that led to a research position in Neurobiology. From there, I continued my medical training that eventually led me to Houston. My husband, Karan Bhalla, a cardiologist, and I founded our medical practice, Orion Medical 7 years ago, and this is where I work.
My creativity has always been my safe haven, the spark that fuels the rest of my life. Now that I am in the midst of launching my own jewelry line and integrating my artistic side with the other important roles I play, such as wife, mother, physician, friend and a lover of life, I feel I have finally come full circle. For the first time I am not going to my studio to create only when I have the time for creativity, but because I have come to realize that I am an artist and creating is an integral part of my life.
What does your art represent?
At its core, my art represents my inner child, that part that we all possess deep inside, that has the capacity for untethered imagination, dares to dream big without fear of failure, where the curiosity runs amuck and unconditional love is the only love we know.
For me, creating art is a very personal experience where every one of my creations are born from my reflections on spirituality, sentiment and personal experience.
Over the past few years, my quest to understand my life’s purpose, lead me to reconnect with my inner child and awakened my hibernating creativity with a roar. I came to realize that bringing joy to others by way of meaningful and authentic connections is what brings me immense happiness and contentment. My art, I realized, is a channel that allows me to do just that.
What inspired your jewelry collection?
As I asked the universe to bring me what I need to live my life’s purpose to the fullest, I serendipitously found myself in the midst of divine encounters and experiences, that eventually nudged me to mold clay into jewelry.
One of the most poignant experiences of my life has been painting a door in Valloria, Italy, the town of painted doors, in July 2018. The people of this dreamy Italian village, perched atop a hill along the Mediterranean, welcomed my family and me with open arms. Hundreds of people came by to watch me paint and admired my work. All language barriers were broken by our desire to connect with each other over our common love of art and food. This created in me an emotion that I can only best describe as pure joy. I knew at once that needed to create and share my creations with people in order to experience this simple yet significant emotion time and time again.
Then there were all my recent travels to distant lands. Travel I find, resets my mind that usually travels a million miles a minute. My curiosity to understand the local culture took me on long walks armed with my sketch pad, clay and tools, admiring the architecture, landscape, art, and enjoying connecting with people, tasting the food and becoming as much as a “local” as I can become. Time stood still. That’s usually when the magic happens. In the stillness I allow the universe to use me as a channel to create and my jewelry creations started taking life. These creations carry the energy of the place, people and culture that inspired them and also the pure joy that my heart held as my hands worked on them. The experiences happened, the creativity flowed, and thus was born my jewelry collection.
How is your jewelry different from others’?
I make jewelry from clay made of beeswax and other natural ingredients. It is extremely light, durable and does not break. The molding, mixing and carving of clay is unique to each piece and creates tones, textures and one-of-a-kind designs, that cannot be replicated. The clay elements are incorporated with precious stones and this dance of various mediums creates a unique luxury creation, that I like to think of as wearable art.
What advice do you have for women who want to explore their creative side
Creations exist because someone had the courage to express themselves regardless of the fear of judgment. Creativity is not limited to art but in fact is broader than that, and each one of us has a creative side. Release the fear of judgement and give yourself permission to follow your passion and to experience the joy of creating, and allow others to be moved and inspired by your unique gift. Even if you inspire one other person, you have created a positive change in the world.
Having finally realized my life’s purpose, which is to create different flavors of happiness in others and myself through the various roles I play, I have never felt more content and I sincerely hope that others find this sense of inner peace and contentment too.
As an artist, Amita Bhalla creates one of a kind jeweled masterpieces born of beeswax & clay, sculpted by hand and brought to life with exceptional gemstones. Every piece is unique, striking a balance between bold scale and ultra-delicate design. Her work is designed with an expressed sensitivity to the natural world. Each of her jewels was created to be collected, worn and exalted.Amita Bhalla’s work mimics the appearance of a frothing arctic sea. Pristinely white and imbued with an energetic sense of movement, her pieces embody the restless power and beauty of a woman in motion.