Women Exhibition 20162020-01-01T10:30:15+00:00

All India Women Artists’ Art Exhibition 2016

5th All India Women Artists’ Contemporary Art Exhibition 2016 took place from March 18 to March 31, 2016. It saw a large number of works including paintings, graphics, sculptures and photographs. Chaudhary Birender Singh, Union Minister of Steel, Govt. of India inaugurated the exhibition and gave away the prizes. The art critic was Parul and the Jury member was Professor Shukla Sawant.

MESSAGE BY CHIEF GUEST

Chaudhary Birender Singh

Union Minister of Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Sanitation & Drinking Water, GoI

Platform for self-expression

I am pleased to know that Artscapes is holding its 5th All India Contemporary Women Artists Art Exhibition on 18th March, 2016. Art plays an important role in our lives by expressing individuality, creativity and feelings. The contribution of women in this field is exceptional as they enhance the lives of those around them and through their works of art make an impact on society. It is heartening to note that Artscapes is making continual efforts for encouraging the women artists by providing them an enabling platform for self-expression.

I extend my heartiest congratulations to the award winners, participants and wish the organizers all success.

MESSAGE BY ART CRITIC

Parul

Art Critic

The voice of art

Art spaces across the world, including India are brimming with a certain energy. Delicate yet strong hands are filling colours into cracks, metamorphosing their identity completely. There is laughter, yet there is seriousness, at times there is a frown too. What is most enchanting is the fact that her fingers on the easel are not just filling shades associated with any woman’s movement or addressing issues exclusive to the fairer sex but in fact, bringing forth larger social and political concerns. This is in fact, the real coming of age of the modern Indian woman artist. She retains her exclusivity yet is not oblivious to the larger realities that circumference her.

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Realising this, the All India Women Artists’ Contemporary Art Exhibition 2016, a landmark effort by Artscapes, celebrates women artists who want to be in the centre of the storm, who don’t live an alternate reality…The ones who do not need a clutch of their gender to put the point across, but are qualified, talented and confident enough to comment on what intrigues and disturbs them as human beings. All this, without losing the special sensibilities that we, the women, can be proud of. This interesting collage of thoughts, of lines, of colours, of figures, of articles is giving birth to a new awakening and even the male gender does not remain unaffected by it. Watching the works of these exceptionally talented artists from across the country brought out a peculiar emotion in me – silence. There were no footnotes to defeat but glaring yet subtle banners of several battles won, despite deep wounds that are never destined to heal. Standing in front of Nisha Chaddha’s canvas (Miserable Dreams) the viewer is suddenly aware of the beautiful lines on the painter’s hands. The delicate crisscrossing of the calligraphy inside that hand gives a glimpse of the soul, which seems to have come to rest effortlessly on the canvas. Then there is ‘Working Woman’ created by Anshu Pancholi. The style and technique are brilliant, but it is so easy to talk about that and move on. The painting does not allow that. It orders you to be a witness to locate the trapped soul shrieking from within the madness of suffering. Maybe God (if he exists) committed one mistake — – he let women access the arts. And we know that can be a lethal combination. The essence of all works says something. The voices do not go into the abyss. The voice is strong enough to be heard across thousand of years. That’s the beauty, and there lies the sadness… In ‘For God Sake 111’ by Ajmira Khutun, with a careless glance, there may be invisibility of a message, look deeper; you will find everything when you contemplate. The echoes in the artists’ thought processes are reminiscent of pre-dawn prayers emitting from directions more than one. That is the effect that the works have, not just on critics but viewers too. Take a look at Dhruti Mahendra Mahajan’s ‘Laundry Bag’ and you are bound to feel that paths have been set loose in a garden of colours. Delicate shades, signifying a multitude of emotions present times hastrusted upon us. What is perhaps the most interesting aspect of art is the fact that it begs you to re-visit so that you can carry away the many impregnated nuances it has to offer. Gurpreet Dhiman’s photograph ‘Walk Along’ lives precisely does that. In many works vivid strokes suggest a thousand broken mirrors that promise a near perfect reflection. Scary, yet so truthful. Chanchal does not believe in cluttering her canvas. The absences are strong rhythmic notes drawing attention to what seems to have disappeared, almost magically from what meets the eye. What is left mesmerizes. You are left wondering…where is reality. Inside or outside? Look at the sculptures by Sajinda, Navjot Diljit Singh, Preeti Dhaniya and you will feel vistas opening up as visions. It does not appear to be one entity at all but a conversation between several elements, punctuated by silence. The works in the exhibition, and the space permits us to mention only a few here, elate you to a different plane where the sense of marvel become routine, invoking protection from forces as dark as the night. Remember, it has nothing to do with the fact that women have created these works, but the fact that these are by fantastic artists who happen to belong to this gender. Every year, Artscapes and the artists break new grounds, hum different tunes that scale a never- before pitch. The calling out in distress is restricted to the mad times that envelop us. And this is what makes these artists stand out. Here’s to women. But more importantly, here’s to art.

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MESSAGE BY THE JURY

Professor Shukla Sawant

JURY, All India Women Artists’ Contemporary Art Exhibition 2016

A journey beyond boundaries

It had been a while since I visited Chandigarh and so the invitation to be a jury member of the annual Artscapes exhibition, held specifically to promote the work of women artists, was indeed a great pleasure. As I caught the early morning train from Delhi to Chandigarh, I had ample time to ruminate over the many fruitful encounters I had, over the years, with women artists, cultural activists, art historians and curators hailing from this vibrant city. And indeed there are many young women who began their careers in this city and subsequently came to occupy very prominent positions within the art world nationally and some even went on to achieve international acclaim. Chandigarh is after all a site where the idea of modernity as a completely fresh beginning took root in the 1950s through an architectural engagement and built form. It is therefore important to note that the foundation for the future career graph of many figures such as Pooja Sood, Bhavana Kakkar, Aastha Chauhan, Vibha Galhotra and Manmeet Devgun was laid in this city. Additionally, it is also the city that became the creative ground for the eminent theatre personality Neelam Mansingh Chowdhry, to make an international impact. Moreover, when one reads the history of modernism in India, unlike the west where every movement is seen to have been helmed by a male artist, almost all historians of modernism in India have highlighted the role of Amrita Sher-Gil in giving the movement a great impetus and she too, as we know, spent a formative part of her life not too far from Chandigarh in Shimla.

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Against this backdrop of a long history of women in the arts, the idea of viewing a “woman specific” exhibition held a great deal of promise. Interestingly, unlike elsewhere in the world, women in India have rarely self-organized into a gender specific group formation through which they may have sought to exhibit a specific ideological position. While in the 1980s we do see the emergence of a loose collaboration between women artists such as Arpita Singh, Nalini Malani, Nilima Sheikh and Madhvi Parekh, their links to the activist “women’s’ movement” was of deference but not activist in form. Nevertheless in addition to the artists already mentioned, we do see individuals such as Anupam Sud, Gogi Saroj Pal and Navjot Altaf (who was more politically active), voice women–centric positions in their work, taking a political and philosophical position in formulating their imagery.

But as feminist art historians have pointed out, this intellectual and creative position has little to do with an essentializing biological understanding of what it means to be a woman. As many have argued, more often than not, it is the social circumstances within which women find their foothold that often determines the life choices they make.

Therefore the role of Artscapes, a non-profit, non-government organization in providing alternative life choices to empower women is indeed laudable. For the last several years, providing a platform of solidarity with women from across the country, the organization has succeeded in making an important mark. For often, the lack of visibility after graduating from art programs in universities means there is little room for professional advancement as commercial galleries do often not give space to new talent. It is therefore indeed laudable that Artscapes has consistently hosted this juried exhibition to bring to the fore the expressive voices of women.

This year, the work on view, was indeed quite representative of diverse cultural and social circumstances within which women make a place for themselves as creative individuals. Encompassing a wide range of mediums and scale —from the ambitious multi coloured graphic to metal casts, painting, photography and carving, the works also exhibited a broad choice of thematic concerns, from universal concerns over the environment, human-animal balance and social upheavals, to the more intimate themes of love, longing and despair. Some works exhibited exceptional originality in their execution and imagery and were given awards, but this is not to say that the other shortlisted works lacked merit. However, an awareness of contemporaneity and conceptual sophistication, was an essential factor in deciding which work stood out from the other and was therefore worthy of special recognition. It is also important to note that many of the participants came from small towns with little access to exhibitory circuits and this is clearly indicative of the outreach efforts of Artscapes to reach out to the most distant parts of the country. Given the paucity of such efforts, the journey of Artscapes is indeed remarkable and one hopes that the organizers find greater success in the years to come.

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MESSAGE BY VICE CHANCELLOR

Prof Arun K. Grover

Vice Chancellor, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India

Make art an intrinsic part of our lives

The importance of art in life can never be emphasized enough, as it enriches an everyday mundane existence while taking the mind to the finer aspects of being. Thus, we need to consciously make art an intrinsic part of our lives. The Panjab University has played a significant role in this endeavour through its faculty of Design and Fine Arts that includes apart from the study of visual arts the study of the performing arts – music and theatre. And among one of the jewels in the University’s crown is the Museum of Fine Arts that is unique as being the only modern art museum in a university in the country, which also has over the years brought the works of significant artists to the city through the exhibitions organised in the museum by the Department of Art History and Visual Arts. As part of this regular enriching of the cultural space in the university and the city it gives us great pleasure to welcome the 5th edition of the All India Women Artists’ Contemporary Art Exhibition in the Museum of Fine Arts. A collaboration of Artscapes with the Department of Art History and Visual Arts this exhibition has made a mark for itself in the annual calendar by virtue of being one of the largest exhibitions of women artists and for providing a platform to young and upcoming artists from all parts of the country. I wish great success to this exemplary venture for the present and the future.

AWARDEES

Nisha Chadda

WINNER 2016

Nisha Chadda

Ambala, India

First
Miserable Dreams
Etching 78 x 127 cms
AWARD WINNER: Rs 30,000

Nisha Chadda from Haryana is another art-enthusiast with a B.F.A from Dept of Fine Arts, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra. She is currently pursuing M.F.A from […]

Anamika Gupta

WINNER 2016

Anamika Gupta

Chandigarh, India

Third(1st)
Rangeelo Mehman
Intagllo + Chine Colle 22 x 28”
AWARD WINNER: Rs 20,000

Anamika Gupta is a true art-lover hailing from Chandigarh with many accolades to her credit. She post-graduated in Masters of Fine Arts […]

Gurpreet Dhiman

WINNER 2016

Gurpreet Dhiman

Chandigarh, India

Third(2nd)
Walk Along
Photography Print 20 x 30”
AWARD WINNER: Rs 20,000

Gurpreet Dhiman is an inspiration for many working as the Assistant Professor in Govt. College of Art, Chandigarh. She has done his Master of […]

K Pooja

WINNER 2016

K Pooja

Vishakhapatnam, India

Third(3rd)
Fused
Water Colour on Paper 70 x 58cms
AWARD WINNER: Rs 20,000

K. Pooja is one of those artists who reiterate that age is just a number. This young girl, hailing from Karnatke is pursuing […]

Preeti Dhaniya

WINNER 2016

Preeti Dhaniya

Panchkula, India

Third(4th)
Destroyed Childhood
Fibre Glass 24 x 12 x 12”
AWARD WINNER: Rs 20,000

Preeti Dhaniya is currently pursuing MFA (Sculptor) from Govt. College of Art, Chandigarh. A talented girl, she has been awarded Merit Certificate […]

GALLERY

All India Women Artists’ Art Exhibition 2016

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