PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 345 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecom expo, millets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
The Akanksha 2019 exhibition, held recently at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in Bengaluru, featured over 500 artworks by 55 women artists, showcased for six full days. In Part I of our photo essay, we interviewed curator Shyamala Ramanand on the mission and journey of the exhibition; see also Part III for more artist insights.
The artist lineup includes Anusha Reddy, Tanu Gupta, Sunitha Krishna, Saroj Revankar, Pareejat Gogoi, Sindhu Rani, Aakriti Agrawal, Ahila C, Suvidha Bolar, Vedha Sreeram, Yamuna Padmanaban, and Sangeeta Agarwal.
Saroj Revankar has a range of artworks reflecting her upbringing in rural India. “Art is a never-ending learning process for me. A few workshops have helped, but I believe we learn from our mistakes and from regular practice. Art is my passion, and gives me peace and happiness,” she says, in a chat with YourStory.
Her artworks feature the tribal people from her village, and are priced in the range Rs 2,500 to Rs 25,000. “View art not only from your eyes but also from your heart,” Saroj advises audiences. “Don’t be afraid to take the ideas from your mind and put them on canvas or paper. Keep practicing and follow your passion,” she offers as tips to aspiring artists.
Self-taught artist Pareejat Gogoi specialises in realistic and semi-abstract art. Her works are priced from Rs 3,000 to Rs 25,000; at the exhibition, she displayed paintings titled Bodacious and Devotion. “Akanksha is a great platform for artists, and has set a benchmark of excellence. There is so much history at the venue itself, Chitrakala Parishad,” she explains.
Sindhu Rani showcased her landscapes and traditional paintings like Kerala murals and Madhubani painting, priced from Rs 5,000 to Rs 30,000. She sees success coming from developing a unique style and getting recognition for it.
“I would like to make audiences feel that presence of self inside my paintings, and experience the depth in each,” Sindhu says. She advises artists to spend time planning before starting to paint, in order to get a clear idea of how to compose the artwork.
“Art to me is happiness that I can share with the world without saying a word, by living my dreams, by creating little things in nature that I so love, on canvases. Art is therapeutic and has the power to cure any ailment in this world,” says Ahila C.
Her artworks are priced in the range Rs 6,000 to Rs 9,000. She is working on creating some authentic Kerala mural artworks. She advises audiences to enjoy the sheer creative energy of art. “Art is a planet of thoughts you can transport yourself to,” Ahila enthuses.
“Love what you do and do it with utmost sincerity, absolute hard work and pure thoughts! Don’t go after sales and fame. They will pour on you anyway, if your work has the purity and the power to speak to the world,” she adds.
“Have you seen people go through old photographs to relive moments of the past? I use art to do the same,” explains Suvidha Bolar. Success for her is seeing art taking form as she imagined, and receiving genuine appreciation or constructive criticism. The ability to do artwork as per the needs of a customer is equally important. Her artworks are priced from Rs 7,000 to Rs 9,000.
“There is no failure in art. Everything which didn’t turn out the way you want teaches something and there is always the chance of a beautiful accident,” she evocatively explains. She says she is not sure if she wants to stick to a style or have her unique signature as yet.
“Sometimes I do things which convention or many art schools would say are not to be done. One of them is the predominant usage of black in my paintings in order to break the cliche that black is associated with something dark, bad or negative,” Suvidha explains.
For Akanksha 2019, she featured works with the theme ‘Colours of Prayer.’ She hates being repetitive, and is also working with clay and learning techniques of blue pottery under the guidance of Gyanesh Mishra.
She urges audiences to turn out in large numbers at galleries and studios to support art. “Artists need viewership to thrive,” Suvidha emphasises. She advises aspiring artists to keep learning. “The attitude to learn is very important. As artists, we cannot be stagnant and should never cease to learn. Learn, practice and stay positive,” she sums up.
Yamuna Padmanaban sees art as a medium to create ripples of positive vibrations while taking the audience on a mystical journey. Success for her comes from seeing viewers immersed in her art.
“Through every work, I try to paint a gentle story that has touched me in some form and is a joy to share,” Yamuna explains. With the theme ‘Positive Vibes,’ she created works titled Innocence and Fairy for the Akanksha exhibition. Her works are generally priced from Rs.3,000 to Rs.50,000.
She advises audiences to approach art with an open mind, take time to observe and interpret it, and communicate their thoughts to the artist. “We are always glad to hear back,” Yamnua enthuses. She advises artists to explore without constraints and stay original.
Vedha Sreeram practices and conducts workshops on Mandala art, combing her passion for painting and teaching. “Mandala art is mainly for inner exploration and achieving meditative effects through radial symmetry and intricate patterns,” she explains.
For the Akanksha exhibition, she featured works titled Sahasrara, Aishwaryam, Anantham, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient, with variations of ruby, emerald, gold, sapphire, silver, and hues of blue, yellow and purple. Her works are priced from Rs 500 to Rs 18,000.
Artforms like Zentangle and Mandala attracted Aakriti Agrawal. “A year back, I was having a tough time both in my personal and professional life, I was becoming negative, prickly and sour to the world. I started doing art as a distraction to fight stress and depression, but soon it became a passion and a sacred practice that I try to do daily,” she explains.
Her artworks are priced from Rs 2,000 to Rs 20,000. Aakriti sees success as attaining the ability to innovate and be creative. “I try to include many patterns in one object, making it more appealing and beautiful. Regular practice and being up to date with the ongoing trends in art motivates me to develop and work better each time I do it,” she adds. Her mantra is to never hesitate to try new things.
For the Akanksha exhibition, she prepared works inspired by Mandana, a traditional form of art done on the floors and walls of central India. “Being from Chhattisgarh, I was always attracted to this traditional artform,” she explains; it is very similar to rangoli. Her other projects centre on the Chakra Mandala.
Aakriti urges audiences to appreciate the hard work and patience that go into artworks, enjoy their beauty, and derive positive energy. She advises aspiring artists to practice and innovate regularly. “I follow the cyclical process of Create – Introspect – Improve, it helps things fall in place,” she signs off.
Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule, introspect on your creative side, and achieve your true potential?
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See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.