From nature lover to successful painter: meet Mumbai artist Sushma Jain


In this photo essay, we share highlights from a wildlife painting exhibition at Mumbai’s Jehangir Art Gallery, along with artist insights.

PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 250 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

Mumbai’s premier Jehangir Art Gallery recently hosted an exhibition of wildlife paintings and photographs by artist Sushma Jain. “I fell in love with nature, and devoted myself to painting wildlife and to the cause of conservation,” she said, in a chat with YourStory.

Sushma grew up in Bankura, Bengal and came to Mumbai when she was in 10th standard; she graduated from Sophia College. She was passionate about art from childhood years, and built upon her foundation with courses at the Indian Art Institute, JJ School of Art, and later at Central Saint Martin School of Art and Design in London.

She has experimented with oils, charcoal, crayons and watercolours. As influences and inspiration, she cites the work of Western artists Van Gogh, Renoir, Degas and Monet, and Indian artist NS Bendre. Some of her works are priced upwards of Rs 2 lakhs.

Sushma has travelled to wildlife parks and forests in India and Africa to pursue her interests in photography and painting. “Once, we had a tyre puncture in a wildlife park in Botswana. It was an unforgettable experience, doing a tyre change with lions around,” she recalled.

“Animals talk to you with their eyes. If only we could hear their stories, and appreciate their view of the world,” Sushma explains. Her Mumbai exhibition, titled A Tale Untold, was curated by Tarana Khubchandani, and the large hall even had a floor of artificial grass to give visitors the feel of watching animals in their habitat.

“We need to love our nature and wildlife, and connect to them more regularly and deeply,” she urges audiences and artists. Sushma signs off with a quote by conservationist Rachel Carson: “The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.”

Now what have you done today to appreciate the beauty of our natural treasures and contribute to their conservation?

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