Explore, experience, engage: what we can learn about creativity from these 15 artists
Four recent exhibitions by a range of talented artists shed light on the importance of experimentation, courage, persistence, audience connection, and environmental responsibility in this day and age. Check out our photo essay and highlights of artist interviews.
Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 350 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecom expo, millets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
Four art exhibitions, titled Urva, Strokes Decoded, Vibration, and Alchemy of Cognition, were held recently in Bengaluru at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath. Featuring the works of 15 artists, they represented a wide range of formats, materials, techniques and themes, as showcased in this photo essay, along with artist insights.
The artist lineup included Anirudhan Ettuveettil, Tanmoy Roy Chowdhury, Utpal Patra, Kazi Rahaman, Amit Debnath, Ujjwal Kanti Pal, Snehendu Pal, Pratap Manna, Sumit Kumar Bera, Thayada Shamsudheen, Akhila H, Amey Balwally, Jeetin Ranghar, Latha Kruthi, and Naiya Parkash.
“Art to me is exploring what I feel, getting to know myself through different mediums, and experimenting with different styles. It all boils down to understanding my emotions and feelings, and being free,” explains digital designer and artist Amey Balwally, in a chat with YourStory.
“The day I am confident to express what I feel without fears, without any inhibitions, and without any filters is success to me,” he adds. He doesn’t feel his art should give a message to society as there are already many messages being given around. Artistic style need not be defined in terms of technique but in the way the artist goes with the flow.
For the exhibition, Amey showcased works representing nature and water, priced around Rs 5,000. He urges audiences to gallery-hop, visit exhibitions with an open mind, and soak in the different styles.
As tips for aspiring artists, he advises persistence, patience, and sensitivity to surrounding textures and rhythms. “It is very important to exhibit your work so that you grow as an artist, and understand how people see your works. It is also important that you sell some works because it builds your confidence, and for the effort that you put in,” he emphasises.
“Art pushes the boundaries of human experience, sometimes even into unintended realms. The essence of art for me is in its departure from the domain of everything that is already existing,” says Thayada Shamsudheen, pointing to the creation of the prehistoric wheel also as a work of art. Even something seemingly mundane can transform humanity over time.
Being immersed daily in the artistic process itself is a form of success, according to Thayada. He defines his style as a cross-pollination between his concepts, memories and perceptions. His artworks, titled Clearings in the Forest, The Riverside Landscape, The City of Yellow Sandstone and The Excavation, are priced in the range Rs. 20,000 to 30,000.
He advises audiences to be visually attentive, open to new experiences, curious, and to ask questions. “For painters, it is important to paint every day and in any variation of their moods and conditions,” Thayada recommends.
“Art keeps me dynamic and gives me a purpose to get up every morning and do something constructive. As long as you feel happy in your creative journey, you are a successful artist. Eventually, it is the years of practice and dedication that bring recognition to the artist,” explains Naiya Parkash.
His works at the exhibition focus on the beauty of underwater life, and are priced from Rs 1,500 to Rs 15,000. “Exhibitions and galleries help create an authentic connection with artwork which social media platforms may not be able to provide,” Naiya explains.
Audience support and constructive feedback helps artists become better. “Practice and patience are the two most important keys to success in art. Art invites different opinions from different sections of society. It is important for artists to stay unaffected by rejections and focus on their work,” Naiya advises.
“Art is a way of life, I have to draw a few lines every day. It is a sadhana for me. I have never thought about success. I just want to be a better artist today than what I was yesterday,” explains Akhila H.
Her art works, ranging from sketches and watercolours to zentangle and Japanese ink paintings, are priced from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000. “I attended a few workshops organised by PencilJam and am part of a group of artists called pencil jammers. This group encouraged me to develop my own form of expression and share my art with the world,” Akhila says.
Her 12 art works for the exhibition were themed on the underwater world. “We pollute our water bodies knowingly or unknowingly, and through this theme we wanted to make people aware of the beauty of the water world and also spread some awareness about being a little conscious about the things we use and discard,” she explains.
Akhila calls for more affordable galleries in Bangalore, and in almost every neighbourhood. “It is very interesting as an artist to see how people read and interpret your work. Sometimes they give dimensions to our art which we would not have thought of ourselves,” she observes. She advises aspiring artists to keep practicing and listen to their intuition.
“Art is a self-realisation. It's like a conversation with the Almighty because it helps express the deepest self and thoughts through art. Art helps emotions be seen and felt, and heals as well,” explains Kruthi K, who has been an artist for over 12 years.
“I would define myself as successful once there is recognition in my style by the viewer. My style is contemporary and mostly figurative. I have developed a passion creating abstracts of Mother Nature,” says Kruthi, tracing her creative journey.
Her exhibited works, priced from Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000, are themed on the underwater. “Here one can see light even in the dark, which I have tried to depict as enlightenment and life,” she adds. “It's every artist’s dream to exhibit in a public gallery, as this is where one can expect the response for creativity,” she enthuses.
Every home should have a piece of art, according to Kruthi. “So please invest in art as it adds to the aesthetic beauty of the house. Encourage artists also; by doing so we will have a better society focused on creativity rather than destruction,” she adds.
Art is a way of life that has its own struggles. It pushes the artist to keep doing more and never be content, explains multi-disciplinary artist and activist Jeetin Rangher. His works are focused on urbanisation, globalisation, and the human connection to nature. He has exhibited at the Serendipity Art Festival, Colombo Biennale, and Jaipur Art Summit. His other projects include Soch Art Studio and Art Adda.
Jeetin initiated the Green World Art Festival in 2010, and has been working with different communities in conflict zones of Kashmir with projects such as Healing Hands. “My art is meant to be raw and subtle, intense and beautiful. I want to shake people by shaking myself,” he says.
“For the current exhibition, I wanted to showcase how Bengluru urbanisation has taken a toll on its lakes, Bengaluru once had around 200 lakes, which is now limited to only 15-20 lakes,” Jeetin explains. His artworks are priced from Rs 2,000 to Rs 20,000.
“It is very important for artists to come out from their shell to showcase their work to the public in an exhibition. There is a healthy exchange of thoughts and emotions that happens,” Jeetin observes; he calls for artists to display their works in open spaces and even at the school level to get different perspectives for self-analysis.
In India, galleries usually display artworks on white walls. “Artists should be able to change the background color for their show, which I have seen a lot when I travel abroad,” Jeetin recommends.
The role of art is to create questions in audiences’ minds, and thereby ripples in society. He advises aspiring artists to travel around to understand different cultures so as to develop new ideas. “An artist should be a good traveler too,” Jeetin signs off.
Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule, take a trip to inspire yourself, and align your work to suit a better world?
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