Hues on canvas, winds of change in Kashmir Valley

In her three-day ‘Autumn Art Exhibition’ in Srinagar, artist Deepa Soni has depicted a positive, peaceful and fearless Kashmir, one that has remained in the mist due to notions of outside world

November 27, 2022 03:31 am | Updated 10:49 am IST - SRINAGAR

Artist Deepa Soni exhibiting her work titled ‘The Autumn Art Exhibit’ at Arts Emporium in Srinagar on November 25, 2022.

Artist Deepa Soni exhibiting her work titled ‘The Autumn Art Exhibit’ at Arts Emporium in Srinagar on November 25, 2022. | Photo Credit: NISSAR AHMAD

Depicting cheerful faces, syncretic values, traditional patterns and romantic colours of Kashmiri autumn, artist Deepa Soni’s three-day exhibition has blazed the autumn grimness with her colourful paintings and raised art forms in Srinagar, “in a bid to spread the message of a changed Kashmir”.

Hailing from Jammu’s Udhampur district, well-known painter Ms. Soni, in collaboration with the Handicrafts and Handloom department, has set up ‘Autumn Art Exhibition’ exhibition in Srinagar till November 27. It’s a tribute to the last generation of Valley’s craftsmen and an attempt to spread the message of “a changed Kashmir”.

Artist Deepa Soni exhibiting her work titled ‘The Autumn Art Exhibit’ at Arts Emporium in Srinagar on November 25, 2022.

Artist Deepa Soni exhibiting her work titled ‘The Autumn Art Exhibit’ at Arts Emporium in Srinagar on November 25, 2022. | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

“My artworks depict positive Kashmir. The Valley has changed. There are positive vibes around. There is a certain notion outside Kashmir. This exhibition is about fearless Kashmir,” Ms. Soni said.

Ms. Soni has used sparkling falling chinar leaves and bright faces of children to tell a fresh story about Kashmir. “It’s a conscious effort to show peaceful and blissful Kashmir, which is a dream place for every artist. Smiling children depict fearless future generations,” she said.

Artist Deepa Soni exhibiting her work titled ‘The Autumn Art Exhibit’ at Arts Emporium in Srinagar on November 25, 2022.

Artist Deepa Soni exhibiting her work titled ‘The Autumn Art Exhibit’ at Arts Emporium in Srinagar on November 25, 2022. | Photo Credit: Nissar Ahmad

The three-day exhibition is also a workshop for art lovers from age eight to 80. “We are encouraging people to paint the weather as part of the art workshop. We will talk about new techniques and raised art forms too,” Ms. Soni said. 

An intricate painting depicting a cap-wearing child on a papier-mache-patterned prayer mat and a rosary is Ms. Soni’s bid to pay tribute to the local craftsmen of Kashmir. 

“The painting is about liberating souls from restrictions of religion. It’s a tribute to karigars (craftsmen) as many craftsmen battle as the last generation to keep the artform alive,” Ms. Soni said.

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