Women Artists Exhibit in the IRMT
On June 9, 2017, four members of the group of contemporary Indian women artists “We” opened an exhibition of their paintings. The group was set up in 2003 by a Chandigarh-based artist Prof. Sadhna Sangar with a view to promoting the work of women artists and encouraging their self-expression. At present, it unites more than seventy artists from all over India and regularly conducts group shows and other promotional activities. The exhibition was inaugurated by the Indian and Russian Curators of the IRMT.
The Founding President of “We” Prof. Sangar, Principal, Government College, Mohali, Punjab, exhibited several works from her Birds Series. This extensive series is focused on birds symbolic of both woman and human soul pictured in the backdrop of waterfalls, which in Prof. Sangar’s art language stand for life: forceful, unending, ever changing and yet essentially pure. Far from being afraid of its powerful flow, the birds seem to be drawn to it endlessly relishing its refreshing coolness. The presented works are mostly in purple, the colour of tranquility in Sangar’s interpretation. She also presented her small-size works capturing the impressions of her trips to Naggar and the holy site of Manimahesh Kailash in Himachal. As a tribute to Nicholas Roerich, she painted a mountain landscape depicting sun-bathed peaks rising above the morning mist into the navy blue sky.
A painter and printmaker from the historical city of Udaipur Dr. Meena Baya extensively studied the Rajasthani Jain sculpture, manuscript miniature and tribal art and, combining it with contemporary abstract style, has developed her own idiom, unique and unforgettable. Among the few works she displayed in the present exhibition, one should mention the Faces Series showing the masks we all wear in life and get identified with. Her other displayed works call for harmony with nature and revel in the infinite beauty and spontaneity of nature’s self-expression. And Dr. Baya’s art mirrors this spontaneity: “I never plan my paintings. I start working and the picture itself decides what it is going to be.”
The self-taught artist from Chandigarh Mrs. Vinod Kapoor displayed her multiple landscapes done mainly in watercolour. “Nature is full of life’s vigour, which understandably attracts artists,” says Mrs. Kapoor, “but they should have a discerning eye to see it.” And the reflection of this vigour is clearly seen in her visions of snow-clad winter mountains, forests decked in autumnal colours, and above all her scenes with birds. “If we observe the life of birds,” believes Mrs. Kapoor, “we can improve ourselves, since birds can teach us how to live peaceful life filled with love, support and care for each other, and detachment from material possessions.”
Mrs. Kiran Sharma, Head (Retd), Department of Fine Arts, Arya Girls PG College, Kurukshetra, Haryana (incidentally, the first woman artist of Himachal Pradesh), displayed several of her small-size landscapes of unspecified locations in her native Himachal, and her recent series on the nature of Himachal inspired by the deeply etched memories of her childhood in Hamirpur and adolescence in Palampur. She also brought an imaginative work showing how impure mind distorts our perception of reality, which in itself is forever perfect and beautiful.