A brush with life
RANA SIDDIQUISAJITHA G.
Sajitha G.’s artistic journey of 20 years catches attention.
For the women The author and one of her works.
“Stree – traces 20 Years”
At Travancore Art Gallery, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, till July 16
At Trinethr Art Gallery, A-50, Sector 8, Noida, till August 15
There are many male artists in Kerala who have made their name in India and abroad, but a search for a woman artist from the State often results in a blank. We had G. Padmini who died in the 1950s. Hardly any woman artist from the State actually was visible, especially on the Delhi art scene.
And that’s why Sajitha G. comes as a welcome addition to the ever growing list of women artists in Delhi. She makes her debut with “Stree – Traces 20 Years” curated by Uma Nair. The show opened this week at the Travancore Art Gallery, where it continues till July 16. The exhibition is organised by a new institution in the NCR, the Trinethr Art Gallery, in Sector 8, Noida, where “Stree” will remain on display till August 15.
Sajitha G. who has extensively exhibited in the U.K, Germany, Spain, Austria, Japan and France, has come a long way. She has struggled very hard to reach the position where she is today.
And that’s why her earlier works are autobiographical in nature. In some, woman is questioning her status under the sky, in others she expresses her desire to break free. If she is lonely and brooding in a few canvases, she seems to be coming to terms in others. Sajitha’s present works are archetypal and about a search for femininity. Says Uma Nair, “Sajitha’s artistic phases are clearly divided into early, charcoals, poems of love series, sculptures and her final Archetypes.
She began that in India and made it reach incredible heights in Paris. Of particular importance is a turmeric and kumkum installation of a triangle which is metaphor of Sajitha’s search for mother roots.”
Sajitha shares, “When I took up Fine Arts for my graduation in Government College of Art in 1987, there was a lot of opposition from my home because only a management, medicine or engineering degree was considered respectable. I belonged to a middle class family and my father earned little. Art material was so expensive. Luckily, I got many scholarships (like the Charles Wallace, Grand Prize 12th Cleveland International Drawing Biennial, U.K, and the Kerala State Award, Lalit Kala Akademi, Senior Award Tamil Nadu State Akademi, etc,). With that money I used to buy my art material. I also went to the U.K, Japan and Sweden through the Nomad project travel grant from European Union in 1999.”
Soon after graduation Sajitha moved to Cholamandal Artists’ Village and lived there for 19 years. She has now come to Delhi and operates from Garhi studio. She relates, “Earlier life was difficult. For my pocket money I used to contribute my poems and short stories to different publications. But now, with art bringing both respect and money, my struggle period seems to be over.”
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