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Spirit of liberation

21 Aug 2021 By HUBERT VAZ

Around 47 Indian artists representing different states of India came together for an Art Mela – an art presentation showcasing the spirit of liberation – to celebrate ‘India @ 75’ (75 years of Indian independence) at the Art & Soul gallery in the Water Front mall, in Shatti Qurm, earlier this week.

The meaningful paintings on varied canvases in this exhibition was inaugurated on August 16 by Dr Baby Sam Samuel, vice chairman of Knowledge Oman. It is open for public viewing from 8am to 9pm everyday till August 28.

The exhibits reflect varied aspects of Indian culture and heritage, folk art and traditions, natural beauty, people, customs and symbols of Indian culture. The artists have brought out the essence of Indian culture, each in his/her own distinct style, yet together conveying a vibrant confluence of colours that represent India’s unity in diversity.

Many of the artists disclosed that they have been smitten by the art bug since early childhood. However, while some took to following their passion in earnestness in their youth, others revived their latent potential for art only after coming to Oman. Some took formal training, some attended workshops  to brush up their skills while a few kept exploring newer sides to their talent on their own.

“My journey in art started just before marriage. It has been 36 years ever since I first started painting in oil colors. I learnt acrylic painting and abstract art from various masters. I have attended workshops and training from time to time. My preferred style of art is Abstract, and my preferred medium is acrylics,” said Dr Shalini Gupta, while Dr Ratna Dharmendran admitted, “I took painting as a hobby six years ago. I work in oils, acrylics, colour pencils and pastels on paper, but I prefer oil painting on canvas.”

Dr Neetu Chabria, a senior artist, said, “I am a self-made/inspired artist. I have explored all forms of Indian art. Recently, I enhanced my skills by participating in a series of online workshops. I love art revolving around Indian subjects.”

Another senior artist, Elizabeth Davis, said, “Ihave been painting for as long as I can remember. We had a fantastic art department in school. I also did a few courses with International artists. I am mostly into Impressionism and currently prefer acrylics.”

Other seasoned artists like Khursheed Raja disclosed that he did an online diploma in arts from IFAA and London Art College, while Harini Kumar, who preferred to be call her style of art as Cubist Impressionist said she did a bachelor’ degree in Fine Art at Stella Maris College in Chennai. Also, Tarini Agarwal, who has a diploma in Drawing Art Academy, London, said she explores abstract relationships between landscapes and figures.

“True to the well known saying that ‘every child is an artist,’ I started drawing and painting during my school days. Fortunate to be residing in mystical Muscat and surrounded by lots of talented artists, I got the opportunity to learn from a few of them,” admitted Sudha Siju.

Veena Naveen also admitted, “Painting has been my hobby for the last 20 years but it has become my passion since the last 4 years. I am self taught but got the guidance of a few senior artists in Muscat recently.”

And senior realistic artist Rashmi Dauria, who learnt graphic designing from JJ Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai, said, “My journey in art has been lifelong. Since childhood, with no formal training, I have been practising art in different forms.”

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