All India Women Artists’ Art Exhibition 2015
4th All India Women Artists’ Contemporary Art Exhibition 2015 was held from March 25 to April 6, 2015. Prof. Kaptan Singh Solanki, Governor of Punjab, Haryana and Administrator, UT, Chandigarh did the inauguration. Ms. Rajani Alexander, Consul General of Canada, was the Guest of Honour. Dr. Vandana Shukla was the art critic for all the creative works. Rajendra Aggarwal was the Jury member and happy to see that the organization makes sincere and effective efforts to comprehend artists’ vision. Dr. Pawan Sudhir was stunned to see the illustrious works of women artists.
MESSAGE BY CHIEF GUEST
Prof Kaptan Singh Solanki
Governor of Punjab, Haryana and Administrator, Union Territory, Chandigarh
Art is the strongest medium to express the emotions
It gives me immense pleasure to be associated with the Artscapes India. It’s a commendable feat on their part to give a platform to the talented women artists of India through All India Women Artists Contemporary Art Exhibition since 2012.
Art is the strongest medium to express the emotions. It is a powerful tool which allows self expression and growth. It is heart warming to see such soul satisfying work by the women artists. Women of today are the change makers for tomorrow. They have the ability to shape notions of gender equality, empowerment, family, Society and life in general. Artscapes through this exhibition has succeeded in bringing to forefront the brilliance of women artists from all over India. It will go a long way to promote the cause of women artists, many of whom have a fight against social inequalities to excel.
I extend my best wishes to the organisers and the participants on this occasion.
MESSAGE BY ART CRITIC
Dr. Vandana Shukla
Eminent Art Critic
Art is also a she
‘Men are politics, women are culture’, so said feminist writer Gloria Steinem. One of the clear changes in the universe of art, as in society, is the decisive emergence of women. Not just as a manifest of her enhanced equity and stature in society’s power structure, but also to bring newer dimensions of sensitivity to the human pool of creativity. In the process taking many journeys both within and without.
The endeavour of ARTSCAPES in bringing women artists to underline this effort is not just laudable but also much needed in a world, which has been hitherto largely dominated by and tilted in favour of men. All India Women Artists’ Contemporary is going to showcase that sensitivity into a vibrant body of thriving artwork.
In a rapidly changing world, economy is defined more by competence rather than the gendered sociology. More women are able to find space in the art world to offer a different perspective on their world. They stepped out long back from the canvas as a mere ‘subject’ that remained confined to the ‘female form’ rather than an exploration of the complex web of femininity, to choose their own subjects. Yet, more often, women’s art is still viewed with the tag of ‘hobby’ or decorative art.
When we look at it carefully women artists have not really abandoned what has been accumulated through the centuries and generations. They have redefined and reinterpreted iconographies in the present context. This apart, they are inventing fresh metaphors and idioms, techniques and materials to voice their concerns.
Art, like many other vocations, when pursued by women, is not viewed as an activity to hold sustenance and hence not as ‘serious’ as the ‘mainstream’ art. Seminars are conducted dissecting content of ‘serious’ art but do we see the same fault lines around gender in art as we do in other inequalities in society? Do art galleries and museums see their work with a bias is a question worth exploring.
It is also pertinent to ask therefore, should there be all-women art shows? Do they give them a special platform, or, exclude them further from the so-called ‘mainstream’ art? People who visit an all-women show have already built a different expectation, or, the expectations do not vary from when they visit a general art show, is worth exploring for the organisers to take this show a step forward.
A show like All India Women Artists’ Contemporary certainly challenges the viewer to explore the art works on these lines. To see if the participating artists are able to come out of the gender identity of art, or, is it absolutely fine to remain within the gender identity to offer a confidently different worldview!
This debate has become all the more important in the last few years as women’s issues have acquired a larger space in public domain than ever before, for all the wrong reasons. And women artists have responded to it with a greater vigour. Not as a reaction, but as a deeper pondering, a profound exploration of their space, their role and the worth of their creative pursuits, not only in monitory terms, but for their relevance in the larger context.
Many contemporary women artists have created wonders from within their gender domain, while a few have been able to create transgressive icons in contemporary art. Both are challenging the boundaries of art, as it is perceived within the narrowly defined realm of women’s art.
At the ongoing Kochi Muziris Art Biennale, one is surprised to see how women artists, across the globe, have defied all tags associated to their art. Without any bias, one can say, Indian women artists have surpassed all limitations of content, technique and materiality in their explorations of the contemporary world, as one witnessed at KMAB, Kochi.
I have seen the works of participating artists of All India Women Artists’ Contemporary, both award winning works as well as the ones that could not feature in the show, these women artists come from across India and the vibrancy of their ideas and expressions are in no way less captivating than those of the established names. That their geographies affect the frame and depth of their exploration is evident all through the exhibition. One finds deeper layers and a strong desire to break -free in terms of treatment and themes in the works that have come from the hinterland.
This reflects a lot on the quality of art education imparted in our colleges and universities. The farther they are from the monumental institutions, the greater is the level of originality of their works. Their expression of art is as global, as contemporary and as ‘serious’, as any art exhibited in a gallery of repute.
Creating art is a cloud phenomenon, an invisible alchemy, not plausible to define. No one has been able to nail the phenomenon of creativity; why people paint, or sing or dance. In the present world where an artist has to process a stream of disparate information, influences and observations, it becomes even harder to attempt to give utterance to an absorbing image. Creative exploration poses more challenge as every image one creates has been seen, every thought one has thought of, rings a bell of familiarity. Within this, defining an art show as women’s art show makes the artistic exploration even more challenging. This very challenge raises the bar.
The subtle danger that lurks behind the women artists is, if their creative appropriation misappropriates femininity? Especially in a world where parameters of ‘success’ are defined by the men’s world, the lure of misappropriating femininity are greater. There is a very thin line that needs to be treaded, a fine balance that needs to be earned with great caution. And, most women artists do not fall.
MESSAGE BY THE JURY
Vice President, AIFACS, JURY, All India Women Artists’ Contemporary Art Exhibition 2015
The 4th All India Women artist’s contemporary art exhibition by Artscapes has a harmonious, contrasting, thoughtful , abstract, representational and symbolic art works by the women from various part of India. This exhibition has significant role play in our culture and heritage as it brings forth the art works of various regions and life style. All the generations of women artists with their effective, expressive form of art provide a historical narrative of the culture and development through their art works. I am happy to see that the organisation is making sincere and effective efforts to work on their vision. Having witnessed such exceptional artworks, I feel delighted. It adds life to the mundane, to the inanimate, to the lifeless. I would like to congratulate Artscapes, for hosting their fourth edition. They have come a long way, and they shall surely travel further. I wish the artists all the best, for they will prosper and make us all proud. My blessings and best wishes…
MESSAGE BY THE JURY
Dr. Pawan Sudhir
Professor & Head, DEAA, NCERT, JURY, All India Women Artists’ Contemporary Art Exhibition 2015
Art, in itself, exists as the most nascent form of self- expression, almost like a purely instinctual energy, which is as subjective and varied as the individuals who practice it in various forms. This method of creative expression has existed in our society since ancient times, and artists have always been successful in carving their own niche, their own corner of introspection and solitude, one which they can access at their discretion. As of now, art, be it visual or performance- based, is a valued system of both catharsis and education in our society, while the pursuit of this noble activity is itself considered highly coveted, and continuously regarded being an essential part of the holistic growth of an individual within himself, and also as an effective member of society.
Artscapes is a team of dedicated artists, art educators and art managers is genuinely busy providing a forum to all contemporary women artists. The work they’ve been undertaking through ‘ the All India Women Artist’s contemporary Art Exhibition’ of promoting women’s art and artistic expression is commendable, and may go far to realising this dream of equality in society.
MESSAGE BY GUEST OF HONOR
Ms. Rajani Alexander
Consul General of Canada in Chandigarh
Art builds bridges between people and communities
I am pleased to accept the invitation to be Guest of Honour at the 4th Annual All-India Women Artists’ Contemporary Art Exhibition on March 25, 2015 at Galleries of Fine Arts Museum, Punjab University, Chandigarh. This event has quickly established itself as a prestigious and successful showcase for female talent from all over India. I have enjoyed looking at the catalogues of previous exhibitions and am certain this year’s exhibition as well will feature beautiful and inspiring works.
I look forward to meeting the artists and seeing the exhibition in person.
I wish all those involved the very best for the show. Art builds bridges between people and communities and it is a wonderful opportunity to further the excellent relations between India and Canada through participating in this event.
MESSAGE BY VICE CHANCELLOR
Prof Arun K. Grover
Vice Chancellor, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India
Evolving expansive exhibition
It is a matter of great pleasure for us in the Panjab University that Artscapes, in collaboration with the Department of Art History and Visual Arts, is organizing the 4th edition of the All India Women Artists’ Contemporary Art Exhibition in the Museum of Fine Arts.
It gives me immense satisfaction to note that this event has been gaining strength from year to year and has come to be known as an exhibition of note for the contemporary women artist of the country.
I wish the organizers all the best for their laudable endeavour and I am sure that with their consistent efforts, we will this year witness an evolving expansive exhibition- not only in terms of numbers, but more significantly artistic achievements- of the works of art from established as well as budding women artists. This convergence of artists from across the country brings together on one stage multifarious and multilayered art practices and creative expressions that are immensely enriching to experience. I am sure that this would go a long way in inspiring the art lovers of the area in general and our students in particular.