With Earthen Symphony, Madhu Chandrika makes spaces come alive with aesthetic artworkRekha Balakrishnan
Artist and founder of Earthen Symphony, Madhu Chandrika also mentors a number of women entrepreneurs to start up on their own.
For artist Madhu Chandrika, any form of art should speak and communicate visually to appeal to the discerning art lover.
As an artist and founder of Earthen Symphony, Madhu designs artwork that communicates either a brand, space or a company. Her work is driven by a passion to create customised works of art that embody the essence of the space.
Each space she designs is special to her. “There are a few which are close to my heart like the one we designed for Mahamasthabisheka. I was the first woman in a thousand years to have worked on the backdrop for the deity. For me, the most satisfying work was the façade mural at Dwaraka, it being the largest, I have had a vision for creating an artwork,” she says.
Madhu has been artistically inclined from childhood and so it was a given that she’d pursue academics in her art. During her graduation at Chitrakala Parishath, she started her journey of exploration and experimentation through her art studio Earthen Symphony.
“When I was in the fourth year of college, there was a long gap where I had to do a project, which is an expensive affair. So, I decided to gather five friends and put up an exhibition. We went to a village and worked with the potters and created new shapes that were not seen in the market before and gave them a contemporary look. We put up a show at Safina Plaza with 300 plus pots designed individually and created by us. They sold out in four days. Since my specialisation was in graphic design and advertising, I had promoted it well,” Madhu explains.
The IT boom during that time also helped Madhu as companies were looking for the right artwork to enhance their spaces. “Architects approached us because we could create custom-made designs. Since there was one more year of college I saved my enquiries. I reset Earthen Symphony in August 1995 at a friend’s garage in Indira Nagar, and then there was no looking back,” she adds.
The artist also has a signature catalogue line that she is passionate about.
“There is a huge lacuna in finding the right artwork to adorn your living or working spaces. There are a very few options available so my intention is to create artwork that is so unique that everyone finds at least one that resonates with them,” she says.
Madhu’s long list of prestigious clientele includes ISB, Manipal Hospitals, Sparsh Hospital, Honeywell, Accenture, Christ University, UPES, UTC Aerospace system, Indian Airforce, BMTC Bangalore metro projects, Philips, Bharath Petroleum, among others.
As an artist, she also mentors women who want to become entrepreneurs. “I have mentored a couple of women in their entrepreneurship journey. Both of them are doing well now. In my workshop, I have consciously employed unskilled women, trained them and employed them. These women are sole breadwinners for their families. I have employed and provided a safe working place for women who have faced hardships in life. Some approached me and still continue to approach me directly and some come through references. I have never denied a place for them. I have most of the times created profiles for them. In my studio, you will see women operating complex looking heavy machinery as well as doing fine intricate work with silk threads. I believe what goes around comes around and the women I have helped are my most loyal employees,” she says.
In 2014, Madhu was invited by the Goldman Sachs Foundation to tour several cities in India to talk about her entrepreneurship journey thereby inspiring several other women entrepreneurs. She was also awarded the Goldman Sachs Fortune Global Women Leader Award in 2012.
Earthen Symphony’s immediate goal is to leverage its online business. “Anyone can now shop for exclusive products on www.earthensymphony.com,” Madhu says.