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Sincerity, sensitivity, storytelling: pointers to success from the Oorja painters

Madanmohan Rao
15th Dec 2018
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In Part III of our photo essay on the Oorja art exhibition, we showcase more creative works along with insights from artists Rosh Ravindran, Vishnu Kumar S, Neelam Malhotra, and Vanaja Bal.


PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 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.

The Taj West End in Bengaluru recently featured an exhibition by 22 artists titled Oorja (‘energy’ in Sanskrit). The artworks are priced from Rs 20,000 to Rs 2.5 lakhs. See Part I of our photo essay for insights from curator MG Doddamani, and Part II for artist perspectives from Ritu Chawla Mathur, Babita Saxena, and Nivedita Gouda.

The other featured artists at the Oorja exhibition are Ashu Gupta, Jyoti Gupta, Kanthi V, Venkataraman R, SG Vasudev, KT Shivprasad, Sachin Jaltare, Gurudas Shenoy, Basuki Das Gupta, Prabhu Harsoor, Rama Suresh, Shivakumar Kesaramadu, Sujata Harish, and JMS Mani.

Rosh Ravindran has a degree in mechanical engineering and works in the software industry. He is also an artist and sees art in the eloquence of a number of activities – not just painting or music, but also cuisine.

“My current series, called Facets features portraits of young, talented, and brilliant women in sophisticated fields of science and technology,” he said, in a chat with YourStory. Women need to be acknowledged for their excellence in these fields, and not just for beauty or glamour, he adds.

“Artists are successful when their artworks honestly pursue the cause they have selected. Their causes can include nature preservation, compassion for society, or projection of their thoughts. This calls for hard work and dedication,” Rosh explains.

He also offers advice for audiences on art appreciation. “In the busy city life, it is difficult to appreciate anything. But if you are aware of that fact, you should make a conscious attempt to appreciate everything that captures your imagination, be it a work of art or prompt service that is delivered to you. So next time you walk through your neighbourhood, take a few seconds to stop and see the intricate shapes, patterns, and colours of the kolam (rangoli) at doorsteps,” says the artist.

Neelam Malhotra was a teacher for 25 years before becoming a full-time artist. Her works are inspired by her travels, such as the camel series based on a trip in the Thar desert. “Art is letting myself go on a journey, a trip where my eyes, heart and fingers explore something. Appreciating nature is like being in awe of the Master Artist himself, his line, colour and form,” she says.

Success for her comes from pride in her work and appreciation from the audience. “Maybe someone even wants to take the art work home,” she adds. “For those who want to pursue art , I would say do it sooner rather than later. Keep the company of artists, and also keep a pad and colours handy. Even if practical responsibilities take up your time, reserve a little time for art,” Neelam advises.

Vishnu Kumar S. studied art in Dhavangere and Bengaluru and specialises in photography that captures often-overlooked details. He regards photography as an art as well as meditation. “Art means knowing life better, understanding inner journeys, and responding to social concerns,” he explains.

He is working on a travel documentation project called Life Series, planned for a show in Puducherry. “Audiences can increase their appreciation of art by reading more and visiting shows. Success for an artist is to be able to reach everybody. Artists should also have a sense of humility,” he advises.

Artist Vanaja Bal studied economics and worked in the healthcare industry, before switching to art. Inspired by the book ‘Ocean of Churn,’ her current works reflect transitions of lost cities, new beliefs, and the movement of people.

“Art is a different form of creativity, learning, meditation, and expression. Success for an artist comes from internal happiness as well as external recognition,” Vanaja explains. She urges audiences to connect to art and understand the different themes, colours, techniques and stories.

Now, what have you done today to find your cause, devote yourself to it, and develop your inner story?

Neelam Malhotra
Neelam Malhotra
Rosh Ravindran
Rosh Ravindran
Vishnu Kumar S, Vanaja Bal, MG Doddamani
Vishnu Kumar S, Vanaja Bal, MG Doddamani

Got a creative photograph to share? Email us at PhotoSparks@YourStory.com!

See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.

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