International Women’s Day Art

These women artists prove that no dream is too big

This Women’s Day here are three artists Meet Divya Chinni, Roja Sanchana and Sharmla Karri from Visakhapatnam who brought alive the canvass of their dreams

Artist Roja Sanchana, whose sculptures were selected to be showcased at the Art Revolution Taipei (ART), explaining about her works Photo : K.R. Deepak / The Hindu

Artist Roja Sanchana, whose sculptures were selected to be showcased at the Art Revolution Taipei (ART), explaining about her works Photo : K.R. Deepak / The Hindu   | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

Age is just a number

When Andhra University’s Fine Arts department invited applications for a certificate course in painting, 39-year-old Roja Sanchana decided to go for it. Though throughout her life she had been sketching and doodling her thoughts, the idea to take it up as a profession never occurred to her before.“I got married at a young age, got busy with my home and children,” she says. But once her kids grew up, she decided to enrol for the six-month course, “as I thought I could manage the home and the classes easily,” she says.

Exhibitions
  • 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi Exhbition in Visakhapatnam, 2019
  • Core 19 by Lalit Kala Academy in New Delhi, 2019
  • All India Fine Arts & Crafts Society in New Delhi, 2018
  • Art Revolution Taipei, Taiwan, 2018

“During the course, I realised how much I loved spending time with the canvas and experimenting with the colours,” says Roja and she just kept on till she earned a Masters in Fine Arts. Roja also holds a degree in Sociology.

The course also led her to sculpting. “I enjoyed painting, but there is something about sculpting that excites me,” she says. With a Bachelors in Painting, Roja went on to do her Masters in Sculpting.

“Those were the best days, I spent all my time doing something I really loved. So if you have a passion for something, pursue it and see how happy your life turns out to be,” she says.

Roja has displayed her work in over 20 exhibitions. Most of her works have an underlying theme of spirituality that encourages the viewers to look within themselves. She is currently gearing up for an art workshop in Guntur where she will teach the participants basics of sculpting.

Artist Sharmila Karri talking about her paintings Photo : K.R. Deepak / The Hindu

Artist Sharmila Karri talking about her paintings Photo : K.R. Deepak / The Hindu   | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

Never too late to pursue your passion

Growing up Sharmla Karri loved her dance classes. A trained Kuchipudi dancer, she learnt from the renowned Vempati Chinna Satyam. While she did toy with the idea of taking up dance as a career, she discovered that her true calling was in art.

Exhibitions
  • The Bombay Art Society's annual exhibition at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, 2020
  • Art Revolution Taipei, Taiwan, 2019
  • Women Artists group show at Aakriti Art Gallery in Vijayawada in 2015

The Seethammadhara-based artist took up painting professionally five years ago. “I believe I got the gene from my mother as she loved painting too. I gifted my friends and family members hand-painted gifts and that received a lot of appreciation. People started asking me where I purchased them from! That is when I thought of taking it up professionally,” she says. Sharmla spent a lot of time poring over techniques of the masters and studying more contemporary methods of art. “I adored the works of Raja Ravi Verma. He had such an eye for detailing. I read a lot of books about art and honed my skills watching YouTube videos,” says the self-taught artist.

“Colours fascinate me and so do humans. Having people in a painting adds a touch of realism to my work,” she says. Most of her paintings have a feminine figure in them and while it is not a deliberate choice, she believes that women are more sensitive and display emotions more readily. Her latest painting ‘Meenakshi’ will be exhibited at the upcoming Art Revolution Taipei in August this year. “Meenakshi is the goddess of the fisher folk and in Sanskrit, it the one with eyes shaped like fish. The 'Meenakshi' series, through the bright and brilliant eyes of a young girl, tries to convey that there is divinity in living harmoniously with Nature,” says Sharmla.

Divya Chinni, an alumna of Andhra University's Fine Arts Department talking about her painting that was exhibited at an art festival in Taiwan. Photo : K.R. Deepak / The Hindu

Divya Chinni, an alumna of Andhra University's Fine Arts Department talking about her painting that was exhibited at an art festival in Taiwan. Photo : K.R. Deepak / The Hindu   | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

There is always a way

Sitting in her studio in Akkayapalem, Divya Chinni remembers her drawing teacher at school. “He would tell me how there was a painting of an apple that was so detailed that it looked real. Ever since then it has been my goal to paint objects so meticulously that they are as good as real ones.”

The artist who a student of Andhra University’s Fine Arts Department specialises in object drawings. “I love bringing to canvas objects that no one would otherwise bother with . But when painted, these mundane objects elicit appreciation,” she says pointing at a painting of two teacups and a kettle that she calls, ‘Hot couple’.

Exhibitions
  • Goa Affordable Art Fest by Museum of Goa, 2020
  • Andhra Pradesh International Art Festival in Visakhapatnam, 2018
  • All India Women Artists Contemporary exhibition in Chandigarh, 2018
  • South Indian Art Show at Lalit Kala Academy in Chennai, 2016

Her childhood dream of being a teacher came true when she taught art and craft at the Sanskruti Global School in Visakhapatnam for two years after completing her Bachelor in Fine Arts. “While working there I realised that I wanted to study further and learn all about painting, so I completed my Master in Fine Arts and am now planning to do a PhD. Since then I have been a full-time artist,” she says.

In 2019, her painting titled ‘Reflections of Traditions’ was displayed at the Art Revolution Taipei in Taiwan. The painting shows a utensil shop with several cauldrons, pots and buckets. The beauty of the painting lies in the detailed reflection on the surface of the vessels. “I have always been a keen observer. Be it objects or people, I love to notice the tiny things that make them special,” she smiles.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 7:25:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/art/these-women-artists-prove-that-no-dream-is-too-big/article31000213.ece

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