Tribute to women, Aisha Alabbar Art Gallery, Dubai

I was privileged to be invited as one of the only women artists from India for a group exhibition of artists from 7 countries curated by Zaahirah Muthy at the Aisha Alabbar Art Gallery in Dubai. The show continued for a month and was followed by a workshop conducted by me on the topic ‘Moon’ in acrylic. My travels to Dubai have always been exciting and fruitful as my works were picked by a luxurious furniture brand “Natuzzi’ as a part of their showcase in the Dubai store. I also visited some galleries and shows of other artists during my stay.

Art Podium, The Arts House, Singapore

ART PODium- an Art fair bringing together artists, art collectors, critics and curators all under one roof exhibiting rare masterpieces from the 19th century onwards from India and South-East Asia hosted at The Arts House, (1 Old Parliament Ln, Singapore) a colonial era structure located in the heart of Singapore now claimed as an arts hub from the 13th-16th September’19. I showcased a collection of my art works from the series reflections, horizons, seascapes and musings. The Opening night of the art fair was inaugurated by the India & Bangladesh high commissioner, who also owns one of the artworks from my recent series. The second day of the Art Podium Singapore opened with a talk by the member of Singapore parliament who appreciated and said some really kind words about my art.

“Her art is meshing short emphatic strokes on horizontal basis to define her forms and shapes. She has depth to her visualization and she also like wave-forms, undulating patterns. There are energy flow to her arts.” -kind words quoted about my paintings my an avid art collector and connoisseur David Ong Hwi from Singapore on the last day of Art Podium.

The most interesting thing that happened during the show

My very first show in 1988 at the Jehangir Art Gallery. I was advised by people that i should invite Mr. Jamshedji Bhabha to inaugurate my show. When I called I was informed that he was busy. After my show was over, I got several calls from his office for enquiry about my work and also called me over to show my works. He also gave me a copy of late Maharani Gayatri Devi’s letter to him introducing my work not only that but he also included my work in the Tata corporate collection with the legendary painters like M.F. Hussain, Anjolie Ela Meno, Ara, Bikash Bhattacharya and others on their corporate calendar, later on he went on to personally collect several of my art works in the year to come. I learnt that when a man goes to the mountain its tough but when a mountain comes to a man its easier. I continued to do my work.

Motivation behind becoming an artist

I was always good at drawing and painting right from my earlier school days. I would always be more than willing to assist my schoolmates in their assignments. I must have got my artistic inclinations from my mother who was an A grade classical singer on All India radio for more than 50 years and she always encouraged me. It was only after I had given up my competitive badminton after college that I went to my first love …painting. I had completed my economics in college and went on to do my masters in Art and Painting in 1988. By this time I had already started exhibition my work. My work was appreciated by the legendary art collectors like Maharani Gayatri Devi of Jaipur and Jamshedji Bhabha of the TATA sons. From then on it was a journey I felt was decided for me. It has been a satisfying one which has given me not only monetary benefits but also respect and strength to deal with whatever came my way..it has truly given me great experiences..

Colours relate to emotions

Colours of course are related to emotions so as in it has to do with your current state of mind while you are actually executing the work so I would say that like you would say that white is  dispersion of light and sublime blue is cool so it also depends on the state of mood that I am in…you know you have certain favourites which you like to keep going back to but for artists more it is more of experimenting with different shades so once I am let’s say in a particular zone- I am using a certain kind of warm colours or am using cool colours and then of course as a person you want to change so you then experiment with another shade, this is the kind of sequence that keeps playing in your subconscious which you try to bring out, it is with every moment that you rejoice the colours that you’re using on the canvas. Painting for me is an emotional response on canvas. The subject is the starting point of the whole experience the colours that I choose seem to spontaneously convey the mood and become my tools to mould into whatever form, texture and composition I choose. The play of light and dark act like the expressions of my thoughts innermost recesses of my mind. The mood sets in slowly after a couple of hours of starting a canvas and later takes on and I forget myself in it. It’s like a meditative process. Not all canvasses are successful. At times when its satisfying then I want to work endlessly and at times when it is difficult that’s when I decide to stop and try again the next day. Feelings find an expression on canvas and these out bursts actually make me feel extremely relaxed after my work. It resolves my restlessness and anxiety and is extremely calming.