Age is no bar, say veteran artists displaying their works at the AIFACS gallery

Around 200 paintings and sculptures are on display at the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS) in New Delhi. The uniqueness of this exhibition lies in the fact that all works are by veteran artists aged 60 years or above. Chief guest Karan Singh, Member of Parliament and president of Indian Council for Cultural Relations, inaugurated the event.

An amalgamation of soothing colours can be seen in a painting titled ‘Sympathy’ by S.D. Shrotriya, who portrays different human forms entangled in the cobwebs of everyday life. Acrylic work ‘Enveloping thoughts’ by Krishan Ahuja is an attempt to render enveloping relationships by painting a single body with three faces with a mutual feeling of kindness and affection in all three.

“People who come to see our paintings realise that yes, this artist still has life and is carrying forward his work in the direction he has chosen,” says S.K. Sahni, an artist showing at the exhibition.

AIFACS has been conducting exhibitions in honour of veteran artists since its inception in 1984. There are many artists who, after crossing a certain age, put a halt to their passion for painting because of family and social structures. AIFACS has been contributing by providing a subsidy of Rs. 3,000 every year to purchase art material and add momentum to their creativity. “People in old age suffer from a lot of problems and issues related to everyday life and on how to utilise their spare time. We, as artists, do not suffer from such problems; an artist has other problems to take care of, for example, if he is developing pictorially or not,” says Sahni, who believes age is no bar for art.

Sandhya Singh, an artist who paints on Indian culture in the fields of dance and music, says, “Creativity cannot stop with age. As we grow old, our art also grows with us.”

On a contradictory note, Shrotriya, who has been painting since five decades, says “An artist faces the same problems as any one residing in the same society, but he tries to get away with his problems through painting, and his involvement with his painting stays forever.”

(The exhibition will remain open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. till July 25., 2012.)