18 artists, 40 artworks, 2 weeks: Reves Gallery exhibition celebrates the creativity of women in art

In this photo essay, we showcase the exhibition titled ‘BeYouTiful,’ along with insights from artist-curator Rajini Rekha.

Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 460 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.

For two weeks, in celebration of International Women’s Day, the works of 18 women artists are being showcased at Reves Gallery in Jayanagar, Bengaluru. The stunning gallery faces the city’s metro line and bustling streets, with an inviting fourth-floor space and fifth-floor terrace for creative works.

“Art is something inborn, each one of us is gifted with some form of art. It’s just that some of us pursue it seriously and a few pursue it as a hobby, while others learn to appreciate it,” explains artist-curator Rajini Rekha, in a chat with YourStory.

“I believe there is no such thing as good or bad art. Art is an expression in response to our surroundings,” she adds. She founded Reves Gallery as a community platform for emerging artists, and a forum for experiencing and exchanging creativity.

Rajini graduated from NIFT and worked for multinational brands like Tommy Hilfiger before devoting herself fulltime to art. She has been in the field of art for over 15 years, and launched Reves Gallery four years ago.

The idea for the current ‘BeYouTiful’ festival came from a logo she designed for a power run event initiated by the National Commission for Women and Karnataka State Police. “The logo featured a dragonfly, which symbolises adaptability and transformation,” Rajini recalls.

“This initiated my thought process to come up with BE YOU, and being you is beautiful! I looped in artists working on different subjects and styles, and connected them to the theme,” she explains.

As shown in this photo essay, the artworks depict social concerns of women over body shaming, complexion, and heartbreak. “Other works reflect women’s strengths in caregiving, love, determination, and grit,” Rajini adds.

Space in the exhibition is shared equally between established and emerging artists. The artworks are priced from Rs 15,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh. The gallery has also hosted panel discussions, workshops, and performance art.

As trends in India’s art scene, Rajini points to the rise of contemporary art, and the use of digital technology. “Art is also being used for sensitising the public on various political and social issues,” she observes.

Artists are building on India’s rich heritage and culture as well, and inculcating values and ethics in public spaces. “Art also underlies media and advertising. It is diversified in terms of its medium, application and audience. More youngsters are opting for art as their core subject, which is most welcome,” Rajini enthuses.

Reves Gallery was inaugurated by Minister Harish Rao from Telangana. “Ever since, we have had great shows, including concept-based shows by well-known curators. I am glad we are able to make a mark in the Green City,” Rajini proudly says.

She sees success for herself in the process as well as results of the creative journey. “The process gives me immense strength in rolling out new subjects to explore, irrespective of commercial outcome. I celebrate every show,” she says.

Despite the ups and downs of the field, and the highs and lows, Rajini says she is proud of her achievements. “I have been fortunate to have good opportunities and great friends. Of course, commercial success follows when your deeds are good,” she beams.

Rajini calls for more appreciation for art in India, through platforms like galleries as well as interactive art installations in public spaces to initiate dialogue. “Art has been present through the ages, we need to revive it and make it relevant to new generations using new platforms,” she suggests.

New shows are being planned, as well as a range of corporate projects. Reves Gallery also an extensive collection of art in stock. “The more you collect, the more you will want. Once you get obsessed with art, there is no limit,” she jokes.

Rajini also travels to other art shows and festivals like India Art Fair and Kochi Biennale. She received good feedback from artists for the current show, and audiences appreciated hearing stories about the making of art.

She urges audiences to expose themselves more to the world of art, and read about it in magazines, books and online sources. “Art connects to you, and you get to feel the strength of the connection when you view certain works,” Rajini explains.

She also offers tips for aspiring artists. “First and foremost, enjoy the process. Persistence and patience are needed in the long pursuit. Do not to jump over subjects and styles to suit the market,” she emphasises.

“It is good to have your individual style and approach, in the subjects you choose and the way you treat them. Try to create your own blend, and stand firm for your point of view,” Rajini signs off.

Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and let your inner creative voice speak loud and clear?

Rajini Rekha

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

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