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Artists' inspirations on canvas

Art reveals several stories. At an ongoing exhibition 'Udaan', 63 artists have come together to give a glimpse of their life during the pandemic. We spoke to some of the artists to understand the stories behind their artworks and the fondness that they share with their paintings.

Artist Ritu Kwatra (right) poses with a friend in front of her painting.

Ritu Kwatra dons an advocate’s coat in her everyday life. But when she is not working, she uses art to create awareness on social issues. Unlike other artists whose artworks revolve around a subject, she focuses on only one element ‘eyes’, through which she spreads the message in her paintings.

Ritu’s fascination with eyes is not new. It dates back to the times when she first learnt painting. Sharing her fondness towards eyes, she says, “I feel that our eyes reveal a lot about us. They depict our emotions in the most unfiltered manner. Whether we are happy, sad, annoyed or anxious, eyes never lie. That is why I have made them a part of all my artworks.”

Her painting depicts the cycle of life. She explains, “This painting builds a co-relation between our life and machines. We all know that man has turned into a machine. While working, we do not realise that we are losing time. Life is too short. There is a need for people to realise that tomorrow might not come and they should have done so much more in life instead of working as a machine.”

Her artworks are a part of a group exhibition ‘Udaan’. It is being held at the Gallery-A, All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society, New Delhi till April 28 from 11 am to 6pm.

Delhi-based artist Arun Srinivasan, is also showcasing his paintings at the ongoing show. His artwork is inspired by the gardens and green patches that he sees around him. As an artist, he loves capturing the reflections of life.

His work includes two paintings – the one on nature and the other on cityscape. In ‘Cityscape’, the artist has depicted vibrancy of the city in different colours. Whereas, in the other painting (an untitled work), the artist has shown his love for trees by painting them using a palette knife instead of brush.

Similarly, Sujoy Kumar Roy’s artwork takes inspiration from his travel journeys. He uses his knowledge in advertising and travel experiences wisely. In the ongoing show, Sujoy is showcasing two paintings. He describes the first one as ‘Innocent mind’.

Innocent mind means that irrespective of our age, a part of our mind always stays innocent. While traveling, I meet people, who despite their age, never leave their innocence. They stay young and I think each of us has an innocent mind that makes us do good deeds,” he explains.

His other artwork ‘Earthen touch’ is a part of a series of five paintings that he made during the 2020 pandemic.

“As a standalone piece, it is not self-explanatory. The idea behind the series was to combine the five elements of nature with our five senses. In the Earthen touch, I have interlinked mother earth with the sensory element of touch,” he adds.

Delhi-based art student Sakib Khan has put waste fabric into a good use. He used this discarded material to create three mixed media pieces involving two mythological characters – Lord Buddha (two paintings) and Lord Ganesha (one painting). In these pieces, the 19-year-old artist has used a sculpture as the centre and the fabric in the background to create a textural look to his artworks.

Artist Sakib Khan's artworks are a combination of sculpture and painting.

Calling his artworks a combination of sculpture and painting, he says, “I learnt this technique from my guru Late Sher Singh Kukkal, years before I joined a bachelor’s degree in fine arts.”

He explains that the process is a combination of skill and patience. He shares, “I have created these pieces by combining cotton fabric with glue. I bunged the fabric in glue to allow the natural formation of textures. I then preserved (dried) the fabric and added more layers to it so that once the material gets solidified, textures retain their natural form.”

The group show features works of artists from Delhi, Jaipur, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, among others. Some of the other artists who are featuring their artworks include Vibha Singh, Simran Lamba, Subodh Chopra, Veer Singh Tokas, Ranjit Khude, Shraddha Chavan, Ravinder Kumar and Nidhi Parekh, to name a few. The entry to the show is free of cost.

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