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Disabled artists from across India showcase their works

“I don't understand why only women are chained with rules when men are given a free hand?” says 45-year-old Delhi-based artist Arveend Budh Singh, who raises the issue with “Kadiyan” his oil on canvas painting. Like Singh, who refuses to be held back by his polio-afflicted limb, 26-year-old Lucknow-based hearing impaired Jamaluddin Ansari doesn't brood over his disability either but moves beyond it with his bronze/ iron sculptures. There are others too.

If the two Orissa-based brothers Siddartha and Shriharsha Shukla, both in their early 30s, can't hear, they speak through their vibrant paper collages. The unlettered 30-year-old speech-and-hearing-impaired Imamuddin from Ranthambore runs his magic fingers through silk, producingintricate, beautiful tigers on mammoth canvases. Shreekant Dubey, his right arm amputated, triumphed over his disability by training to paint with his left hand. His symbolic works have a tinge of humour. Jovial Rajesh Maheswari, who is hearing impaired, blends the zodiac signs and creates narrative works in water/poster colour. These and more artists with different disabilities are a part of the 6th national exhibition of artworks “Beyond Limits” by Rajinder Johar's Family of Disabled – FOD. Well-known senior artist Sudip Roy has selected the works, on display at Arpana Fine Arts Gallery till December 6. Interestingly, more than half the show is sold much before the exhibition is over.

Nine new artists

Says Johar who started the organisation in 1992 after an accident rendered him immobile, “This time there are nine new artists from remote places like Pilibhit and Guwahati. We send the invitation to different NGOs, art schools in different cities. The exhibition takes around four months to prepare. Most of the time, the artist is not able to meet the deadline and works keep trickling in even after the jury selection.” Johar admits that he keeps 25 per cent of the sale of each work for “administrative purposes.”

Despite being marred by a few imitations, the show remains spectacular. The exhibition concludes on December 6.

RANA SIDDIQUI ZAMAN

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