Sunday, March 21, 2021

A to Z Challenge 2021 - Theme Reveal

I have never taken part in A to Z challenge before. I am yet to decide specifically on what to do but I think I would like to go with a fun line and a simple drawing with each alphabet. I am yet to decide on the specifics. But I am aiming at something rhythmic or alliterative with simple ink blob drawings.


Monday, March 8, 2021

We are our own Galaxies - Women's Day Feature

I have never been one for “days” as I believe that the idea, the experience, the reasons, the staunch support for any cause should be life long and not constricted to a “day.” That said, there are certain kind of “day”(s) when we get a chance to focus and spread the awareness more, a positive aspect to reach more audience. This is just that attempt. I love listening to multi-layered voices and bringing them together under a roof to maximize the effect by increasing the visibility. Though this effort of ours is intended as a friendly-fun collaboration, I would like to begin by citing certain views and thoughts that crossed my mind.

According to IWD website:

International Women’s Day is a way to focus on the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

 “The campaign theme for International Women's Day 2021 is 'Choose To Challenge'. A challenged world is an alert world. And from challenge comes change. So let's all #ChooseToChallenge.”


The first IWD gathering took place in 1911 and since then there have been innumerable occasions to mark the day and its significance. I believe it’s more about humanity than anything else. If you closely observe the society as it holds a mirror to its own actions, we shall see the disparity in all arenas of existence not just gender alone. But gender inequality is perhaps the basis of all inequality. The domination that one is exposed to from early childhood is what taken across all sections of the society. That one of them can dominate the other leaves an indelible mark. It needs a collective effort and collective conscience to challenge a change.

We do what we see way more than what we are told,” reminds Gloria Steinem and we need to see that positive change particularly for the younger generation to embrace it.

There has always been a systematic social devaluation of female life literally affecting the balance of life in this world and Emma Watson talks about it in her conversation with Gloria Steinem quoting:

“More lives are lost through violence against women through sex-elective abortion, female infanticide, suicide, egregious maternal mortality and other linked sex causes than were lost during all of the wars and civil strife of the twentieth century.”

-Sex and World Peace (2012 - Authors: Mary Caprioli, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Chad F. Emmett, Valerie M. Hudson)


Our project is a simpler note though. As part of creating a meaningful narrative, Piya Gajbe and I decided to join hands with other art enthusiasts and veteran artists to create some personal chronicles in the name of art. The intention behind this collaboration is all about having a shared purpose, appreciation, trust and join forces to create stories of change and positivity; something hopeful.

Purple, green and white are the colors of International Women's Day. Purple signifies justice and dignity. Green symbolizes hope. White represents purity. Keeping this in mind, I had extended the limited colour palette for our works – Purple, Yellow ochre and Teal. However, artists are beings of freewill, constrain is something that cannot be dealt with by all. While some could think in terms of the colour, some indicated certain aspects of certain shades of the said palette. Ultimately, it’s all about a combined purpose and celebration in the name of art and that’s all that matters.

Being in diverse professions, some of my friends here still hold on to their passion to delve deep in splashes of colours. That somehow liberates us into a different realm. It is this passion and interest that has brought us together.

We are our own Galaxies-A collaboration-HuesnShades
We are our own Galaxies- A Collaboration

We are our own Galaxies-A collaboration-Art details-HuesnShades
Details - We are our own Galaxies

Our theme – “We are our own Galaxies”

Babitha Rajiv – Fort Kochi

Babitha Rajiv-We-are-our-own-Galaxies--HuesnShades
Babitha Rajiv was born in Fort Kochi, Kerala, where she still lives and works. Her diverse art practice includes drawing, painting, sculpture and installation. Most of her works are in charcoal, pen and acrylic. They embody the many inner contradictions and confusions of life, nature and it’s beings. In her abstract works, Babitha deploys an investigation into the complex relationship between human perception and reality. In her abstract drawings she tries to explore a delicate equilibrium between a sense of balance and detailed texture and surface tension.

Babitha has been selected several times for the annual shows conducted by Kerala LalithaKala Academy and has attended various camps, group shows organized by various agencies across India. Now she is working on her third Solo Show that will start on August 10, 2021.

This work portrays Women's desire for freedom and empowerment.

Untitled-Babitha Rajiv-We-are-our-own-Galaxies--HuesnShades
Untitled, 91.44x91.44cm, Acrylics on canvas

Deepa Gopal - Dubai

Deepa Gopal-We-are-our-own-Galaxies--HuesnShades
Born in India and currently residing in Dubai, Deepa Gopal loves working with a variety of mediums. Most of her paintings are coupled with her own Haiku/micro poems as titles. She has done her Masters in English Language and Literature and is currently working as a freelance visual artist and a creative writer. She has displayed her works in several group shows in India and in the U.A.E. She has curated a couple of exhibitions, as she loves to bring many voices together. Her art blog, Hues n Shades, is one of the Top Indian Blogs.

Her works reflect the introspective emotional states or “mindscapes” as she likes to call them. The limitless mind in general and the inner workings of the feminine in particular captivates her the most. Most of her works are autobiographical. Myths, dreams, visions, people and their tales, the emotions and the unbridled feelings kindle her creative juices.

The current work highlights a mindscape of infinite possibilities where her dreams are guarded and she enjoys a safe space where her own universe wraps her up to heighten her realizations. 

We-are-our-own-Galaxies-Deepa Gopal-We-are-our-own-Galaxies--HuesnShades

We are our own Galaxies, 29.7x21cm , watercolour 

Dr. Hawa bi Khan - Sharjah

Dr.Hawa bi Khan-We-are-our-own-Galaxies--HuesnShades
Hawa bi khan is a creative from the sun baked state of Goa, India. Her multicultural upbringing has affirmed the idea of perspectives, authenticity is what attracts and stories matter!

Along with exploring cultures,places and people, she spends her time expanding her vision in healthcare, AI, human rights and gender equality.

Creating and managing in her profession, dentistry, she has also invested herself in the field of her primeval love... art...dabbed in everything that intrigues, from printmaking to alcohol inks, to graphic design...anything that fascinates the creative in her to explore the limitless possibilities of a perpetually exploring mind.

Printmaking and pen and ink sketches are the medium through which she finds a way to let out and heal whatever the mind dictates!

Resplendence-Dr.Hawa Khan-We-are-our-own-Galaxies--HuesnShades
Resplendence - 32.5x22cm - Linocut

Masarratfatima Sulaimani - Sharjah

Masarratfatima Sulaimani-We-are-our-own-Galaxies--HuesnShades
Masarratfatima Sulaimani is an experimental artist, specializing in creating the unique art of hand-cut Paper. She believes that human forms and emotions can be best depicted through this art form.

Masarratfatima explores Paper cut art with various mediums along with the interplay of light and shadows. This gives the art a different dimension. Inspired by nature, culture, emotion, and architecture, these layered papers expresses a story of a moment. Through her art, she strives to bring out the human journey of understanding the self and the world. 

She has successfully showcased her works at various venues across UAE, such as Sikka Art Fair’19, WAD etc. She is an Art Instructor at various Art Centers. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts from the prestigious Maharaja Sayajirao University, India.

Within-Masarratfatima Sulaimani-We-are-our-own-Galaxies--HuesnShades

Within - 22.7x42 cm - handcut paper with watercolour

Piya Gajbe - Nagpur

Piya Gajbe-We-are-our-own-Galaxies--HuesnShades
Piya Gajbe is an advocate, a writer and a painter by choice. Having written several short stories, blogs and articles for various online platforms and offline magazines, she has recently published her debut novel, ‘When Fate Kicks’. Poetry is soul therapy for her and she has a published collection of poems, “Dews N Petals” to her credit.

She is currently working as the Chief Editor of Sharing Stories Magazine and Content Manager for A doting mother to a son and an avid reader, apart from writing she loves to engage herself in music, arts and painting.

When she is not expressing herself in words, she uses colours and paints to describe her feelings and thoughts. A self-taught artist, she finds solace in painting and sketching. She loves to bring out the extraordinary tales of ordinary people around her through her writings and artwork.

We-are-our-own-Galaxies-Piya Gajbe-We-are-our-ow
We are our own Galaxies, 54x36cm, watercolour 

Rhiti Chatterjee Bose - Bhubaneswar

Rhiti Chatterjee Bose-We-are-our-own-Galaxies--HuesnShades
Rhiti Chatterjee Bose is an Artist, Writer and Counsellor based in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. She is the founder of ArtIsana, an art company focused on teaching and learning of various art forms. Her work mainly focuses on Indian Folk & Tribal art, Zentangle Art, Mandalas, Acrylic paintings and Art Therapy. She has recently co-launched a program called 'RasaRanga- The Indic Utsav' to empower the rural and folk artisans. She is the co-founder of a free community library 'Kitaabshaala' in Bhubaneswar for the underprivileged youth. She was the founder of the ezine ‘Incredible Women of India’ that documents incredible stories of real life women. She also has multiple print and online publications.

She has a Master’s degree in English Literature from The University of Madras. She has a Teacher's degree from Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, and is a Post Grad Diploma holder in Psychotherapy and Counselling from The School of Natural health and Sciences, London, UK. 

The cosmos and the Consciousness–Rhiti Chatterjee Bose-We-are-our-own-Galaxies--HuesnShades
The cosmos and the Consciousness - 38.5x27cm - Pen and acrylic

Runa Biswas - Bangalore

Runa Biswas-We-are-our-own-Galaxies--HuesnShades
Runa Biswas is an artist currently based in Bangalore. She was born and brought up in Kolkata where she completed Masters in Economics and also a five-year Diploma in Fine Art. For the last 15 years or so Runa has consciously worked towards developing a unique visual language that she can call her own and derive artistic satisfaction from.

Over the years, she has experimented with mediums, textures, tools and concepts that has helped her to achieve a technique that is a mix of watercolour wash employing layer on layer glazing, pouring, batik and brushwork. This technique has given her the freedom to use the rigidity of bold lines along with the fluidity of watercolor.

Her subjects are mostly figurative, inspired by dreams, folklores, stories and moments, and deep symbolism drawn from life, of other people she knows or came across, and even her own life. Of missed moments, or the ones that has happened already, yet are so beautiful that those can be re-lived once again.

She wants her paintings to touch hearts, yet speak to the minds of people, making them think, evoking curiosity, discovering the layers and making them happy every time they look at the works.

In Search of  Paradise –Runa Biswas-We-are-our-own-Galaxies--HuesnShades

In Search of  Paradise - 25.4x25.4 cm - mixed media on archival paper

Sowmya Muralidhar - Bangalore

Sowmya Muralidhar-We-are-our-own-Galaxies--HuesnShades
As the saying goes, Passion has a calling, Sowmya Muralidhar is an engineer by profession but her interest has always been her childhood passion, painting. 

Her journey from a novice learner to where she is today is through several inspiring workshops and the learnings under the guidance of senior artists. She loves working with varied mediums like oil, acrylic, pastels & charcoal. She is quite versatile in capturing the brilliance of nature along with conceptual, contemporary, and figurative arts.

She dedicates this art journey to the very first artist in her life - Her Mother

She has had great opportunities to share her journey in the form of online exhibitions and art shows in and outside Bangalore where her artworks have found a place and purpose. She also enjoys teaching art to all age groups. She also enjoys penning down the story behind each of her artworks. To sum up, her eyes are always looking for a subject that talks to her, enthusing her palette of colours to create works which leave an impact.

Seek within – Sowmya muralidhar -We-are-our-own-Galaxies--HuesnShades
Seek within - 24x24 cm - Acrylic on canvas

Vani N M - Palakkad

Vani N M-We-are-our-own-Galaxies--HuesnShades
Born in Malappuram district, Kerala in 1984, Vani completed her BFA in Painting from the Govt. College of Fine Arts in Thiruvananthapuram in 2006 and then went onto receive her MFA in the same discipline from S. N. School of Arts, Central University of Hyderabad, in 2010. She has been part of many exhibitions, workshops, art camps etc. including the works on Travancore Titanium Art Wall Thiruvananthapuram 2021, ‘Nirakeralam’ Online Art camp by Kerala Lalitkala Academy in 2020, ‘Niracharthu’ a national painting camp at Wadakkanchery-Kerala in 2019, ‘Biophilia’ group exhibition curated by Manesh Dev Sharma in 2017 and online slide presentation of her works in Ni-Talks in  2020. She lives and works in Palakkad, Kerala.

Speaking about her paintings, her early works portrayed the duality of ‘Black’ and ‘White’ and the existential crisis. She attempted to visualize the fight within her to decide the parameters of right and wrong. When she started to experience - the flow beyond the dualities - ‘Advaita’, she tried to represent this beauty through her paintings. As we know, we human beings are not so virtuous to others’ habitat and that realization led her to watch and depict the lives of nature too.

The Flow-Shakti – Vani N M -We-are-our-own-Galaxies--HuesnShades

The Flow- Shakti, 40x50cm, Oil on canvas

Yamini Mohan - Kannur

Yamini Mohan-We-are-our-own-Galaxies--HuesnShades
Yamini Mohan was born into a family of acclaimed artists based in Kannur - the land of looms and lores by the Arabian Sea in the northern part of Kerala. She soon emerged from the shadows of her illustrious family, shaping her own distinctive style. After completing her Graduation in Painting from the University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram in 2008, she soon swapped the palm-lined beaches of her homeland for the bustling megapolis of Dubai, where she is now based.

With a self-confessed obsession for the dark and bold stokes of Charcoal, she is currently delving deeper into her favourite medium, ceaselessly exploring, evolving and expressing herself.

Yamini has been part of several national and international group exhibitions and Art Camps. She has three Solo Shows to her credit. She has been part of “Promising Artist” by Akaas Visual Arts, Dubai and “Women in art” show conducted by Gallery Arabesque & Centre Park towers in Dubai, “Images in-side out” conducted in Delhi Triveni Art Gallery is her notable Duo exhibition. She is a regular at Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy’s State exhibitions and Cochin Art fair.  For her work named “Iconography”, she was conferred with the Academi’s State Award (special mention) in 2007.

Wind-Yamini -We-are-our-own-Galaxies--HuesnShades

Wind-91.4x76.2 cm, Acrylic and charcoal on canvas

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