Learning is an unending process – artist insights on the long but rewarding journey of creativity
Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 475 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.
Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath (KCP) in Bengaluru recently hosted four exhibitions on art, titled SoulSpire 2020; Latent Heat; Icons of the Future; and This & That & More. Featured artists included Veena Rao, Malvika, Empe, Avinash Mokashe, Aniket Khupse, Mahesh Jadhav, K Mano, Vidya Prasad, Rudra Prasad, Sudheesh Pallissery, Preeti Kirikera, Laboni Chatterjee and Shrabani Misra.
“Art means finding myself on paper, and depicting what I see,” explains Rudra Prasad, an orthopaedic surgeon and part-time artist, in a chat with YourStory. “I keep experimenting and not giving up. This has taught me patience and many other lessons,” he adds.
He tries to express himself via multiple media. “I believe in constructing everything in simple shapes to begin with, and then build on them,” he says, explaining his style. He was taught by K Mano, and learned about different media and languages of art.
“I regularly attend workshops to pick up different techniques, so I keep learning various styles from different people,” Rudra adds. He has participated in two shows, and was pleased with the reception from the KCP exhibition thanks to the appreciation, love and learnings.
“As humans, we express ourselves through singing, writing, and dancing – all these can be combined in visual arts as well,” Rudra explains. For the KCP exhibition, he focused on light and shadows at different times of the day.
He observes that Indian art lovers still spend money on prints rather than original art, but hopes this this may change in future. He calls for more art appreciation in India through school education and media coverage.
Rudra urges audiences to visit galleries and exhibitions more often, and support artists. “Viewing art is also meditative,” he adds.
“Art is a reflection of experiences and imaginations from the stream of life,” explains Preeti Kirikera. She says she began painting at the age of six, and was fortunate to receive support and encouragement from her parents and art teacher in school.
“My art teacher, Sri. BA Reddy, is a renowned artist and used to give me topics to exercise my creativity and imagination. He sent these paintings to various art exhibitions,” she recalls.
That led to her winning medals and certificates across India and other countries like Finland, Korea, and Russia. “This boosted my morale, and under the guidance of my teacher, my style became clear,” Preeti describes.
(Note: The photographs in this pictorial essay were taken before the national lockdown due to the coronavirus. The visit to the gallery was not in violation of any public safety guidelines.)
Her art themes are based on real life experiences and imagination, and rendered in the form of pencil sketches, portraits, water colours, poster colours, and acrylic. The artworks are affordably priced from Rs. 3,000 to Rs 5,000. “Though I put a price tag for the sake of it, I know that real art lovers would know how to value a work of art,” she explains.
In the course of her career, she took a break for family reasons and rekindled her passion for painting after 18 years. “My six year old daughter also paints, and reminds me of my childhood passion for art,” she proudly says.
This time, it was her daughter’s art teacher, Ms Barnali Roy, who motivated Preeti to take up painting once again. “Soulspire 2020 at KCP was my first exhibition,” she explains. “I restarted painting as a means for relaxation, and this turned into a passion. I would like to explore different forms of art and keep learning art in different media, as learning is an unending process,” Preeti says.
“In this journey, being able to recreate the world in my perceptions of colours is what I look forward to. The future should speak of the rest,” she says, describing her creative path. She urges audiences to go beyond surfing art images on the Internet, and visit art galleries to engage with artists.
Some of her recent artworks are dedicated to her mother. “I was very close to my mother, but lost her six years back due to a sleeping disorder called sleep apnea. My work was completely dedicated to her: whether it depicts a mother with her three daughters or a mother with her little girl,” Preeti explains.
Her next projects are focused on wildlife, in colours and oil. She also worked on a painting related to women’s empowerment for an exhibition in Lucknow on the occasion of Women’s Day in March.
Preeti says she was pleased with the response to her show at KCP. “This exhibition has been a great boost, like oxygen to my spirit of art. Many in the audience appreciated my work and could connect to the message I wanted to convey. My style of work was also well appreciated,” she proudly says.
She also urges audiences to appreciate more art and become aware of the power within them. “Audiences have panoramic views, their ways of imagination are innumerable. If they can catch what artists mean in their paintings, that is appreciation for them,” Preeti says.
She also offers words of advice for aspiring artists. “I still regard myself as a beginner after all these years, but I can advise aspiring artists to go beyond awards and appreciation,” she says.
“Never be dejected when you are not able to create on the canvas what you imagined. Continue the good work. It is we who need to appreciate our work first, find solace and peace in our art, and pride in our explorations. Success will automatically follow,” Preeti signs off.
Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and find new ways of fully exploring your creative core?
Veena Rao, Malvika, Empe
Avinash Mokashe, Aniket Khupse, Mahesh Jadhav