In Chandigarh, artist Nilima Sheikh goes down memory lane and shares notes from her creative journey : The Tribune India

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In Chandigarh, artist Nilima Sheikh goes down memory lane and shares notes from her creative journey

In Chandigarh, artist Nilima Sheikh goes down memory lane and shares notes from her creative journey


Mona

When renowned contemporary artist Nilima Sheikh came calling to the city over the weekend, it was like going back in time to the Kasauli Art Centre, where Vivan Sundaram hosted artistes from all over world. They indulged in a range of creative pursuits, including workshops, seminars, symposia on films and experiments in theatre-making.

The septuagenarian was in Chandigarh for a talk organised by the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi and Sher-Gil Sundaram Arts Foundation. It also marked the closing event of ‘Kasauli Art Centre 1976-1991’, an exhibition of paintings, sculptures, prints and archival documents at the Museum of Fine Arts, Panjab University.

Sheikh, known for merging traditional art with modernist ideas, talked about how back in the 70s and 80s, Vivan’s home, Ivy Lodge, served as a space for not just artistes but their families, including children, who became a part of the creative milieu. The talk, anchored by Latika Gupta, explored many facets — Sheikh’s inspiration, process and continuous work.

Trained at MS University, Baroda, Sheikh has taken inspiration from historical art, craft traditions and literature. She has also illustrated children’s books, including Saare Muasam Ache, and Blue and Other Stories. Her series When Champa Grew Up (1984-85) was her reaction to dowry deaths in Gujarat. Salam Chechi (2020), which is an ongoing series, pays a tribute to Malayali nurses. “Anyone who has had the experience of looking after the elderly, like I had the good fortune to look after my parents, realises the value of nurses.”

Sheikh’s works, reflective of the times, are steeped in tradition. Her series Each Night Put Kashmir In Your Dreams was also a part of the invigorating conversation.

The evening saw two other prominent personalities — thespian Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry and multi-media artist Ranbir Kaleka — reminiscence their experiences at the Kasauli Art Centre. And goes without saying, city’s much loved art historian BN Goswamy was deeply missed.  

#Kasauli


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