Why Bengaluru’s Aakriti Art Group gives canvases a nudge into galleries

The Aakriti Art Group’s exhibition gives women whose aspirations have been limited by family obligations a chance to showcase their artistic talent

Published - May 25, 2024 08:30 pm IST

Seven Horses by Rose Mary

Seven Horses by Rose Mary | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“We steal time,” says Preethi Prasuna, while explaining her attempt to schedule time for her interests in art amidst fulfilling her chores as a housewife. She is one of the four homemakers from the Aakriti Art Group whose work was showcased at their fifth exhibition at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishad recently.

The gallery walls narrate the story of these four women’s attempts to find their footing as artists. The women draw inspiration from the beauty of nature, love for their family, and the quiet moments of everyday life — their paintings speak of the power of finding creativity in the ordinary. 

“Our goal is to make art and paintings relatable and understandable for everyone,” says Purnima Avinash.

Purnima Avinash, Rose Mary, Preeti Prasuna, and Snigdha Panda founded the Aakriti Art Group in 2021 to seek recognition as self-taught artists. “When we participated in other exhibitions, we saw established artists get special attention while those like us were often sidelined. This disheartened us because we believe every artist deserves recognition and that is why we formed the Aakriti Art Group. Despite not having formal training, we work hard, and our art speaks for itself. We would like to enjoy the same exposure that other artists receive,” explains Rose Mary. 

“We charge very little from our artists to display their work at our exhibitions. We understand their struggles as new artists because we have experienced the same challenges. Our goal is to give them exposure and support their growth as artists,” continues Poornima, adding that this space welcomes not just art enthusiasts but also aspiring artists.

The Tigress by Purnima Avinash

The Tigress by Purnima Avinash | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

For these artists, their journey began not in grand studios but in the quiet corners of their homes. Preeti rekindled her passion for art in 2016 after leaving her corporate job. “I was inspired by my neighbour. I would paint in childhood, but stopped due to my studies and career. After almost 20 years, I started again,” she shares.

Rose Mary’s creativity was influenced by her father who was also an artist. “Seeing him made me interested, and that’s where I got it from,” she explains. Poornima and Snigdha are self-taught artists who learned through YouTube videos and their children’s art classes. 

The exhibition showcased a range of pictures depicting their artistic achievements. Each artist’s unique style contributes to the rich variety of themes and media, including coin and resin art.

“This painting holds special significance for me,” shares Preeti, indicating her work depicting a mother and daughter, created in 2021 as a tribute to her late mother. “It was one of the first three paintings I did after a long break. The first one, ‘Mother and Three Daughters,’ was sold. The second in the series, represents my bond with my mother and sisters. It’s inspired by us,” she explained. “I painted it shortly after my mother passed away in 2014.”  

Reflecting on Cherished Memories by Preeti Prasuna

Reflecting on Cherished Memories by Preeti Prasuna | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

As new artists, they occasionally encounter less supportive visitors at exhibitions. “At one of our previous shows ,” Rose Mary says, “a man walked in and, upon seeing my Seven Horses painting, criticised it, saying it was bad and should be taken down. His words left me speechless and shattered at the time, but thankfully, we usually receive positive feedback, so hurtful comments like his don’t affect us much.” 

The Aakriti Art School founders also had a message for those who couldn’t pursue their dreams due to other commitments: “It is crucial to prioritise yourself. Initially, your family might not support you, but it’s important to persevere. There are many things families don’t support, yet we still pursue them. . Self-love is paramount — you have to do it for yourself, whether it is painting or anything else.” 

The fifth edition of Aakriti Art Group’s exhibition is on at Chitra Kala Parishad till May 26, 2024

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