March 8 is the day dedicated to celebrate womanhood. We— A group of Indian contemporary women artists, Chandigarh, come together on such occasions to bring forward the best works of women artists from across the country. This annual affair becomes all the more special for the group as it came into existence this very day in 2003.
This year’s exhibition, 18th annual show, Colours of Expression, provides a platform to young and old women artists equivalently from all walks of life.
From realistic to abstract subjects, from women being the centre of it all to the physical features of women that catches the eye— the exhibition catches women in all moods, all shades. Anita Kaur’s etching work, Richarly Sharma’s paper-cut work and Sonika Singh’s Blind Step, which is a work of charcoal on paper, narrate the story of versatility of each artist in different mediums.
The divine presence is inevitable and the same goes for the works. The divine expressions are prominent in the works like paintings of Guru Nanak, an oil painting of Durga, a colourful abstract work on Buddha, paintings on Mahadev and Krishna. As for the colour palette, neon shades and blues dominate. With over 125 works received from different states and Union Territories and the works of 65 artists were shortlisted to be displayed at the Government Museum and Art Gallery-10.
From a woman’s perspective
There are people in the world, who have the talent but not the means and groups like ‘We’ really create a ripple effect in that regard. Dr M Balamani from Baroda is in Chandigarh to give a talk on Perspectives of Women Artist Yesterday and Today.
An artist as well as an art critic, she believes that there are many women artists who have not got their due credit. She says, “Take for instance Sunayani Devi. Inspired by her brothers, Abanindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore, and Samarendranath Tagore, she started painting only at the age of 30. And like her most of the women artists back in history learnt from their brothers or husband.”
Ask her what drew her to art and she says, “I knew that I could do something in fine arts. I was not good with English and I literally learned it from my children. It was only after marriage that I completed my masters and then PhD in fine arts.”
While she credits her family for being supportive throughout, she also stresses that for a woman to know what she wants and being able to express her desire is important. She feels it is good for women artists to reflect their lives through art but it is also important to look at art as the world does, to look at world problems and reflecting those in art still needs to be acquired by most female artists.
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