From hues to humour: how these artists make a profession of taking creativity to new frontiers

In this photo essay, we showcase some of the creative works on display at two exhibitions titled ‘Iridescent’ and ‘Visual Metaphor,’ along with artist insights on mission and method.

Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 395 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.

Seven artists recently held a joint exhibition at Bengaluru’s Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, aptly titled Iridescent (‘producing a display like the seven colours of the rainbow’). They featured abstract forms, portraits, and rural landscapes.

In another exhibition titled Visual Metaphor, Udupi artist Sunil Mishra displayed wooden installations featuring satirical and humorous works. The symbols, and use of instruments like a blowtorch, reflect contemporary issues such as manipulative politics.

The seven artists of Iridescent include Kayalvizhi Sethukarasu, Sarika Singh, Gayathry, Bharathi Senthilvelan, Rohini Choudhary, Mohan Kumar and NS Kumbar.

“Every portrait has a story to tell, and revealing these stories through paintings is an art,” explains Rohini Choudhary, who paints with warm hues and vivid colours in oils and charcoal. She was in the IT industry for ten years and then quit to pursue art full-time in 2017.

At the exhibition, she displayed a portrait of Ramabai Peshwa, wife of Maratha warrior Madhavrao Peshwa. “I tried to capture her emotions where she is eager to see her husband back from his first battle,” Rohini explains.


“My favourite topic is kids’ portraits. I enjoy capturing their care-free attitude and innocence, which is a lesson in itself,” Rohini adds. Her works have been exhibited in India, the US and Bangladesh, and are priced from Rs 10,000 upward.

“India is blessed with a variety of art forms. India has huge talent, and awareness of art is improving day-by-day. Indian art has the power and creativity to compete on a global level,” Rohini observes, as trends in the Indian art scene. This ranges from interior decoration to digital art.

“I believe art is a journey and there is no end to it. Success is when you become someone’s inspiration and they look forward to your work,” she explains. Every child is an artist, but then they are force-fed a curriculum, she laments. Rohini advises aspiring artists to believe in their own artistic capabilities. She also urges audiences to verify original artworks before purchase.

Gayathry D paints the vibrancy of village life, festivals, and markets. “Sometimes, the mixing and spreading of colours result in unexpected, unique and wonderful effects, which gives me pleasure and satisfaction,” she explains.

Kayalvizhi Sethukarasu showcased village lifestyles and lush nature through semi-abstract paintings in acrylic on canvas. She sees art playing an important and inspiring role in preserving the culture and dying traditions. Her works were priced from Rs 6,000 to Rs 40,000.

“Audiences love the greenery and richness of nature. The colours give them calmness and inner relaxation,” Kayal explains. “Audience appreciation, comments and suggestions always motivate me a lot and improve my works to the next level,” she adds.

Bharathi Senthilvelan has exhibited at Chitra Santhe and Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in Bengaluru, as well as, Lalit Kala Akademi in Chennai. At the Iridescent exhibition, she displayed artworks reflecting the colourfulness and playful activities of childhood. They were priced from Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000.

Dr Sarika Singh started her art journey in 2003 and has completed hundreds of original paintings. She uses bright oils and acrylics, with instruments like knives. Her works are priced from Rs 10,000 to Rs 70,000.

“I can fly as high as I want and feel as wild as I can,” Sarika enthuses. “All I need to do is sit in front of the canvas with my imagination and pour my heart into it,” she adds.

“Success for artists is when their work can evoke a deep thought process in the mind of the observer, and makes them appreciate the meaning behind the work,” Sarika says. Success also comes from art finding its way into homes and offices of art lovers, and into the pages of magazines.

As trends in Indian art, she sees the rise of abstracts, which offers endless interpretation and modern outlook. “Most artworks feature landscape, historic paintings, temples and deities. They have the major reach and appreciation at local levels,” Sarika explains.

“The biggest hurdle art faces in India is the saturation of the market with copy work. The artist community is also equally to be blamed for this. Copying should be shunned and originals must be given a wider reach,” she urges.

“Refrain from copying and express yourself with your original thinking. Eventually, you will be able to create space for yourself,” Sarika signs off.

Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule, and find ways to be true to your inner creative self?

Kayalvizhi, Bharathi Senthilvelan, Sarika Singh and Mohan Kumar

Sunil Mishra

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