All India Women Artists’ Art Exhibition 2014
3rd All India Women Artists’ Contemporary Art Exhibition 2014 was organized on March 3, 2014. It was inaugurated by Sh Shivraj V. Patil, Governor of Punjab and Administrator, UT, Chandigarh. Padam Shri Keshav Malik found the works life-enhancing. Professor Biman B. Das, Prem Singh and Dr. Tirthankar Bhattacharya were the prominent Jury members.
MESSAGE BY CHIEF GUEST
Shivraj V. Patil
Governor of Punjab and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh
His Excellency Shivraj V. Patil , Governor of Punjab and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh
Women empowerment in a very meaningful way
I am happy to know that – Artscapes – has been organizing exclusive exhibition for the women artists for the last few years. This initiative of the organization in providing a stage, where women artists from all over India can showcase their creative genius is highly commendable. This is one of the important steps towards women empowerment in a very meaningful way. I am sure that the efforts made by Artscapes will be very useful in serving the cause of women artists, many of whom have, to fight against social inequality.
I convey my best wishes to the organizers and the participants for this All-India Women Artists’ Contemporary Art Exhibition. May the good work continue.
MESSAGE BY ART CRITIC
Padam Shri Keshav Malik
Eminent Art Critic, JURY, All India Women Artists’ Contemporary Art Exhibition 2014
Steps of Vast Import
Even though only a few are destined to become practicing artists, everybody has a little bit of artist in him or her. Their lives can be infinitely enriched if they can be given sufficient experience of the art, so as to encourage them to make a constructive adventure of the use of their eye. Such an adventure stimulates and gives direction by contact with working artists and can enormously add to an individual’s all-round development and as also his value as a member of society; for it then gives him an interest in the general environment and a desire to maintain where it is beautiful as also to improve where it is ugly. It may give him a suppleness of mind and an enhanced philosophy of life, which will ensure that old age is a thing of the body only.
In this laboriously put together exhibition, there are many entries, each of the works have some merit, though of course the seasoned artists like Manuk Prashar, Nutan Dhiman and Sunita Dinda, here represented, have a decided edge, for the good reason that they have put many more years. Since there is only a small space to discuss the works included, I will mention only a few as a sampling of what is to be expected in the event. This does not mean the others can be ignored not at all. Viewers must look at each included work with interest and not just those by the award winners. Those who, with much enthusiasm, have collected these are discerning and often marvelously perceptive.
As a human being, an artist can perhaps be most keenly conscious of the pulse-beat within himself because first and foremost he is the one who has enjoyed contemplating an object and atmosphere and also states of mind. Consumed with a passion to invent a symbol to communicate it, he or she proceeds to do so. It is important to realize that what the artist does is to invent the symbol, not state the elements of the thing symbolized. At least foremost artists in this show have done precisely that. You have several of them here and one who enlarge the grammar of able to wrest beauty of expression from the most unimpressive aspects of things. This is so because they are all after truth, not merely surface looks. They are energetic to discover life forms. Their works delight as well as make us meditate profitably. Their best images come from deep within the contemplating mind.
In contemporary art, works can be life-enhancing. So artists go on to express their spiritual powers. But then, there are the neo-naturalists, who celebrate form, texture, patterns, design quite in the way India’s famed woven fabrics do. There are still others, who explore the tribal hinterland of the human mind.
Several go for a meditation on man; a self-reflection which can be self-regenerating. As and when the underlying intellectual concept of these painters has the requisite visual energy their art is vital. The painters that are present in this show are not preachers, but their ethical impulses or their spiritual questioning can be pretty strong. Responding to imaginatively visualized normative experience they react sharply though without unbalancing themselves as craftswomen.
There can be, to offer brief notes on the work of some other artists here presented, a heart moving silence as in the figures of Mili Mishra. She gives us full-bodied intimations of the life of human beings. These are not exercise in mere form, but, rather, expressions through formal means of a dramatic human situation. Some of these artists are young still; their craft will surely find much further improvement. But, one may well claim, that within the means at their command they all the same bring us moving experiences, which stir our humanity.
There is, in my opinion, quite often a lot of good art but less of the urgent, pressing one, striking at the fibres of one’s being. Works like Varsha Badal appeal not to the aesthetics of ‘beauty’ or ecstasy alone but to the human spirit. This spirit is empathy or sympathy charged one. In the context intended, it stands not for the Faustian one, nor for divine restlessness or other noble impulses, but simply the power of identifying with the humble or the crushed of the earth. Compassion is the great quality in other works, the heart is touched by human suffering and especially for suffering which we bring upon our head. No nature’s calamities are as harrowing to these artists.
Then simple, but without sentimentalism, are the works by others. These artists make temple bells ring in our heads with a spontaneous authenticity and transfix us with such sweet feelings that they cause much joy. The distance that Indian painting has traveled will have now become evident, but without losing its personality. Some of the new artists are seen to remake their art with a seemingly total break with the past. In these there certainly appears a retreat from modernism, but it is really more a searching in the cultural layers of the past and present for material rather than a following in the steps of the already achieved old styles.
The impact of new psychic and social environment has changed the personality of several of the artists, which in turn has modified or remolded their expression. The life of the early painters was comparatively stable; it was, perhaps, an unquestioned world with little mental darkness or restlessness in evidence. The painter was then rarely his own subject. Then he expressed the form or face of the world carefully, delicately without anguish and as an anecdote. But in time, as with a number of painters here presented, they become thinkers. An inherent questing enigma in now attached to the venture. It is an epistemological doubt that nags them.
Thus some of them, for instance, make statements that irradiate and surprise. Some are fantastical, eccentric or mystical. At their core are presented interesting mental convulsions. In still others is expressed a straightforward faithfulness to modern experience. This is a massive enough personal quality, a kind of aesthetic uprightness. It is a subordination, at the same time, of the emotions, to the analytical intellect. Such artistic personality is precise and composed. These artists therefore observe the world coolly.
As a painter Nazima has tried to express her artistic awareness in terms of homely ecstasies. It is in this way she responds to a root reality. The work is often tempered by the meditative intellect to bring out the spirit within – with motifs as symbolize life and lyrical movement. Similarly, in their artistic assays, some others come to grips with the geometric or physical realities in their composite paintings. Their repertoire adumbrates our body’s sensorial richness to glowing experience.
Women artists love the movements of colour flapping flags of them, the imagery being always strong, vibrant and attractive; and our eyes lap it all up with pleasure. Their graphic lines boil and bubble. Some artists build up atmospheres that trap us in spells of delight, but of a discreet, unobtrusive kind. So their colours float an apparent calm ruling over their scenic vista. They like a hard, firm format.
Mitu Verma’s art flows from the springs of a rural heart; a spontaneous welling up of the earth, the Mother. The artist passionately responds with genuine feeling to make her work true and meaningful for us. Very simply she invokes the spirit of the forests. She crafts to create not photographic images but those commensurate with her own deeper responses to simple life. This way other pointers also come to grips with the deeper peace associated with nature, though without making any comments on the theme.
There are people who get very upset when it is said that paintings nowadays tend to be uniform, dull, and intentionally conformist – instead of being personal, local, individual and exciting. The reply to such charges is – if such a comment can be called a charge-that since it is possible to distinguish the work of one abstract painter and another, the international manner is not uniform. This exhibition is a testimony of that very truth. I must emphasis that a painting may be composed in a given moment but it does its work in time. It may be done in acute emotion yet drives toward precision and compression; the conscious intentionality of art is its way of discovering an emotive truth. Made in and from the material of ordinary life, art is continually wrestling with its own medium. This is what this all women show has tried do of its choicest last.
MESSAGE BY THE JURY
Artist, Critic, JURY, All India Women Artists’ Contemporary Art Exhibition 2014
Art inspires one to look around.
When one looks around one experiences.
There are certain indelible experiences that urge for expression.
To give a visual voice to the experience that one has had need to invent an artist from within oneself.
An artist is man makes the invisible visible to the rasik
It not only makes the life chhandomaya but also humanizes the one who is blessed with an eye to peep into the soul breathing in a work of art.
From the ancient times to the present we see numerous artistic expressions registered by Indian artists each consistent with the taste and spirit of its time and place.
We heard a very little about the female artists over the centuries
Surprisingly this continued for a long long time.
It’s another matter that 90% percent of male artists have entered the corridors of the famous art galleries and museums all over the globe by painting the woman and only 10% of the female artist’s work is now seen along with them
It is only in the beginning of the 20th century that the names of the women artists started appearing on the art scene of India.
A tremendous change has been noticed in art world especially in the post- independent India. Now we see an upsurge of women artists on the Indian art scene. Many organizations and institutions connected to art are solely focusing on the art done by women in different corners of the country.
One such organization is ARTSCAPES based in Chandigarh which is now organizing an annual exhibition exclusively devoted to the art done by women artists coming from different cultural backgrounds. Until now we have been seeing the woman and her world painted by the brush of the male artists. It is interesting to see how the women artists look at their own world and giving a visual voice to their inner voice.
As one of the members of the jury to adjudicate awards for ARTSCAPES 2014 Women art exhibition I was struck by an amazing sense of composition in her work. This to my mind has come to her naturally because she being a householder has been organizing each and every object in the house from one generation to another. Another redeeming feature is that of the skill and struggle displayed in the execution of their wok. Honestly I looked at the works of art without any gender in my mind. However, I was happy to inhale the fragrance of the presence of the women artists in some of the works which truly added to my experience as a member of jury. I think the time has come when we will have art galleries and museums adorned with the works of art by women artists There is a long road ahead for ARTSCAPES but I am sure that the passion and commitment that I have observed on the part of the organizers would soon see this organization in a significant position in the world of Indian Contemporary Art in the times to come.
MESSAGE BY THE JURY
Prof Biman B. Das
Sculptor/Painter, Former Principal, Govt. College of Art and Craft, Calcutta
India is a country, whos contribution is highly recognized by all over the world. Country has high rich cultural heritage. There are many unbeatable art treasures, carrying tradition of various styles with aesthetics and architectural qualities since ancient age.
To-day contemporary art world in India, Artscapes,a nonprofit non- Government art organization, based on Chandigarh, who is sincerely working for promoting women artists throughout India. In the past few years, they have organized such kind of exhibitions, invited the women artists all over the country and as well as those living in the other counties. As one of the jury member, I have the chance to select the awardees for their annual all India women exhibition. Needless to mention that this organization has been working so hard to establish the genuine platform for the women artist in the country .While judging I found that the total selections of paintings and sculptures undoubtedly maintained the overall well standard.
The NGO Artscapes through their excellent aims and projects will definitely make a special marks for nurturing their talents to the society, art lovers, critics. Now a-days modern society, and even rural cultural set up, especially in India, need not differentiate women and men artists. Women artists are proving their talents and day by day number of the artists are increasing . However the educational, cultural developments are abruptly changed. The talents and awareness of art, even folk art, contemporary art are growing and awakening for the love towards the present day art and culture.
I must express my sincere thanks to Suraj Mukhi Sharma, Principal promoter and Director Simrat Sharma and also Honorary Co-coordinator Anjali Aggarwal for arranging such noble gesture. All selected exhibits will be displayed in Punjab University Museum Gallery. So far criticism is concern that most of the exhibits have fulfilled the aspects of contemporary/modern sensibility. Some of the exhibits have captured most intelligently with aesthetical essence and latest technical applications. If everything is goes well the Artscape will definitely establish the special marks and which would be beneficiary for women artists as a whole. In this regard, corporate sectors, Ministry of culture should patronize this organization for more fruitful attempts. The credit goes to Artscapes, whose wholehearted moral support and encouragements to enable the recognition of women artist’s, talents. All the exhibits may not received proper appreciations; however as a whole I personally have enjoyed the total results. The exhibition will create unique artistic atmosphere. I congratulate all the participants and award winners. My best wishes to all the member of the Artscape for their such noble efforts and also request them to encourage more, so that the vision should establish a special landmark to India and as well as rest of world art lovers.
Prof Arun K. Grover
Vice Chancellor, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India
As the Panjab University celebrates the 150th Birth Year of Professor Ruchi Ram Sahni and 150 years of higher education in Punjab, the Department of Arts History and Visual Arts (Fine Arts) rejoices in its Golden Jubilee years. The well-lit galleries and the sun-kissed courtyard of the beautiful Fine Arts Museum, which houses an excellent collection of some of the most outstanding art works of contemporary artists of modern Indian, seem to be the perfect venue for hosting exhibitions to promote art and culture in the Tricity. The Fine Arts Museum has been collaborating in hosting the ‘All India Women Artists Contemporary Art Exhibition’ under the banner of Artscapes, a non-profit and non-government organization since its inception in 2011. Artscapes provide a platform to foster excellence in various dimensions of visual art. Their endeavor is to bring together all the visual art mediums under one creative umbrella, bridging the gap between the art creator, the critic and the art connoisseur. Artscapes has been able to reach out to various states and districts of the country and bring together the artist fraternity into a cohesive whole. They have made a positive effort to bridge the void that exists between artists and art-lovers and the critics a large extent.
I believe that the ‘All India Women Artists Contemporary Art Exhibition 2014’ being organized at the Panjab University Campus by Artscapes, in collaboration with the Department of Arts History and Visual Arts (Fine Arts), will go a long way in promoting the cause of talented upcoming women artists. Such vibrant must be organized regularly as they stimulate and encourage the artists and art lover to come together for promoting art.