Draw an inspiration

Sapna Dube’s ongoing art exhibition featuring the various forms of Ganesha aims to create awareness about the mistreatment of elephants

For entreprenuer-turned-artist Sapna Dube, trips to the Amber fort in Jaipur and locations in Kerala, where she saw elephants in captivity being mistreated, provided the spark for a series of paintings, ‘Elephant as God’.

Sapna says, "We worship Ganesha as the Elephant god, yet we mistreat the animal by keeping it chained and injuring it. I felt it more acutely when I travelled with friends from Belgium. That gave me a new perceptive on this issue. I decided to work on a project showcasing Ganesha in various forms. My series is created to bring awareness about elephants in captivity, especially those used in temples and processions. It has 21 paintings."

The paintings are titled ‘Mouserider’, ‘Benevolent One’, ‘Cosmos’, ‘Lord of Fortune’, ‘First Among All’, ‘Pathmaker’, ‘Patron of the Arts’, ‘Listener’, ‘Trunk’, ‘Single Tusk’, and ‘Mr. Big’.

Sapna says, "Ganesha is my favourite god. I have enjoyed drawing him in my own manner. I have used colours and artistic influences from across the world. It has taken me six years to complete the project. I have used acrylic paint makers."

Talking about some of the paintings, Sapna says, "They showcase different attributes of Ganesha. For instance, in the ‘Doorkeeper’ painting, the elephant’s head symbolises wisdom and knowledge and he is shown facing doorways to keep out unwanted elements."

‘The Pathmaker’, that showcases the ability of Ganesha to defeat all obstacles, is one of Sapna's favourites from the collection. She points out, "It's one of the first I painted in the series and embodies the role of the path maker that the elephant essays in the forest. We have assigned the same attributes to Ganesha as well."

The exhibition is on at the Taj Westend till the end of October.

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