Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly column of Your story, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the previous 555 posts, we presented a Art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecoms fair, millets fair, climate change exhibition, wildlife conference, boot festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
Onkkon Art Studio’s annual Maitree Utsav exhibition ends today in Bengaluru Parish of Karnataka Chitrakala. It features 100 unique and original works of art by 35 artists from all over India (see Part i and Part II of our cover).
The meaning of art
“Art came to me like a parachute when I was hanged on the edge of a cliff. It’s an antidepressant for me, ”explains Jayshree Chhajjer, in a conversation with Your story.
She sees it as an experience of internal and external growth, full of joy, peace and love. His works are priced at Rs 2,500 to Rs 50,000.
Jayshree hopes art will also become a mainstream career like any other and receive the respect it deserves. “There is a strong demand that we use our creativity to the maximum, ”she adds.
“Art is my passion, it helps me connect with others. I can easily express my feelings through art ”, artist Odisha Rosy Mishra said. His works are priced at Rs 2,000 to Rs 60,000, depending on size and shape.
She has a special place in her heart for the folk art of Odisha, pattachitra. There is a village called Raghurajpur where every member of the family makes this art. “I tried to popularize this art through this exhibition,” says Rosy.
She appreciates the Maitree Utsav exhibition, demos and seminars also. “These seminars and interactions with other audiences gave me new ideas and new perspectives,” she adds.
“Art is a beautiful experience which gives a positive vision of life”, explains the artist-designer. Vasumathi Vasudevan. Her work is themed on nature and its beauty, and reflects the happiness she experiences in her garden.
“Art for me is a therapeutic expression of the vibrant hues of a garden. It gives viewers calm and makes them smile, ”she adds. His paintings are priced at Rs 12,000 to Rs 35,000.
Art on display
For Maitree Utsav, Varun Rao exhibited works by his Light series. “I am describing beauty in simplicity, the beauty of darkness mixed with one source of light,” he says.
Milna sajee selected three works based on human emotions, thoughts and spirit. They are titled Sporadic thoughts and Far from the mad crowd. Another title No devil is a ballet duo.
“I’m still a fan of those well-defined and groomed bodies, and perfectly paced – almost impossible – movements and the energy of ballet dancers,” she enthuses. The price of his works is between Rs 1.56 lakh and Rs 2.18 lakh.
Award-winning tribal artist Sirajuddulla Chitrakar featured a series of scrolls depicting themes on mythology, folk tales and social issues. The Bengal-based artist uses traditional materials for paintings, such as soot, seeds of beautiful fruits (apples of the woods), turmeric and nilmani flowers.
His works have been selected for collections in India, Bangladesh and United Kingdom. Sirajuddulla has led art workshops and lectured on tribal art in India and Bangladesh.
Success for an artist
Rosy Mishra’s success comes from the public’s appreciation for the beauty of her works. “When the person understands the effort behind it, I feel very proud. As an art teacher myself it is heartwarming to see that I can make a difference in the lives of my students and encourage them to choose art. For me, that’s the definition of success, ”she adds.
“Success comes from hard work and determination. For me, art has no end because we are always learners. Working with passion and pleasure will give success, ”says Vasumathi Vasudevan.
“Success for me cannot be summed up in one word. It starts from eyes that appreciate art to the people who transport it, ”Jayshree Chhajjer describes.
“Success is this journey where you reach and exist in places you never thought of before. Success for an artist is the joy that people not only see your work, but observe and understand the effort behind your emotion, ”she enthuses.
Resilience to the pandemic
Throughout the pandemic, Sarbani Chatterjee, CEO and Managing Director, Onkkon Art Studio, continued to work towards its goal of establishing an art university in Bangalore.
“The pandemic was tough on everyone, but I used this time to meet and interact with all possible artists, and select the people who would be part of the university,” she recalls.
“I have learned that such crises can happen again and again, but we should not give up hope. I lost students, I had no money, but I continued to work to achieve my dream, ”adds Sarbani.
“I am a dreamer and because of that I can see my dream of forming an art school coming true soon,” she says.
The pandemic has given artists like Jayshree Chhajjer quality time to explore and try new things. “But at the same time, it was very demotivating too much. Art lovers are there in abundance, but not art buyers, ”she laments.
“So it’s been a journey from optimism to reality. I did not resist very well, unfortunately. However, I hope against all hope, ”she says.
Rosy Mishra also explored new art forms, but as an art teacher she struggled to lead classes. “I love interacting with students and watching them grow. Due to the pandemic, it took a long time to adapt to the virtual platform and teach properly, ”she recalls.
Lockdowns during the pandemic made it difficult for Vasumathi Vasudevan to buy art supplies, although online shopping has helped to some extent. “When I was affected by COVID-19, it was art that gave me a positive spirit to get through my quarantine period,” she recalls.
Although studio artists like Milna Sajee were not directly affected by the pandemic, she has missed exhibitions and interactions with other artists. “But in general, art sales have declined and many artists have struggled to make ends meet, ”she laments.
The pandemic has had a severe impact on artists by reducing sales, commissions and commissioned works. “Of course, there were no exhibitions and that was an even more demotivating factor,” laments engineer-artist Varun Rao.
“More than that, during the first lockdown we were all so affected psychologically. We weren’t ready for what happened, and it affected my creativity. For me it is important as an artist to be in a calm, peaceful and positive state of mind to shape any work of art, ”he explains.
However, he quickly bounced back. “I have more experience with digital support, on social networks and WhatsApp groups. indian film actor Amit Sadh noticed this and offered to organize my works for an online exhibition. It encouraged me even more, ”adds Varun.
He also directed some online art workshops to test the waters as a teacher. “I even tried my hand at creating trendy videos with my friends, conveying a message to my friends and family in such difficult times,” he says proudly.
Advice to artists
The exhibiting artists also offer advice to aspiring artists. “Don’t give up and never underestimate your work. All the works are beautiful. Get into the habit of doing something every day, ”advises Rosy Mishra.
“Focus on your skills and your thinking process. With regular practice and determination, one can eventually become a good artist, ”advises Vasumathi Vasudevan.
“Consistency, honesty and originality will definitely help move forward. Art takes a lot of dedication and passion, ”observes Milna Sajee.
“Art can become a way of life and there is no shortcut to success. It’s a never-ending journey that you enjoy throughout, ”she adds.
“Don’t stop dreaming! I understand that sometimes it gets difficult and you have to think about feeding yourself and your family first, but don’t let that stop you from dreaming, ”urges Sarbani Chatterjee.
“I often tell people that if you stop dreaming, you are dead before you die. If you dream, you will continue to inspire you to make it come true one day. I believe that artists are creators who have the power to dream and who are passionate about their creations, which puts them next to God, ”she says.
Message to the public
“When you look at a work of art, try to see the inner message given by the artist. Understand their feelings, ”Vasumathi Vasudevan suggests to the audience.
“A word of appreciation will encourage us – and the purchase is your choice. We, the artists, are also ready to accept your views and comments, which will help us improve our work, ”she adds.
“I feel the more you try to connect with art, the more inner peace and spirituality you’ll gain,” adds Rosy Mishra.
“We would be blessed to have your precious time. Hopefully you don’t just walk past our artwork, but observe the expression behind it. Also be generous in your appreciation and criticism, ”adds Jayshree Chhajjer.
“With vaccinations in full swing and life slowly returning to normal, we artists hope that the cloud of uncertainty is up and the art market is back to its bustling ways, ”adds Varun Rao.
He signs: “Well, all sectors are hoping for the same. Amen!”
Now what have you done today to take a break from your busy schedule and find new avenues for your creative core?