Changeover

maya changeover

This site has had a mini changeover.   The colours and layout have changed and the focus on the main page is in on a current favourite piece with a slide show of recently finished work.  This blog which is now being updated infrequently has moved off the main page.

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Imagining Peace at the Colombo Art Biennale

I’m delighted to be a part of Sri Lanka’s first Art Biennale and grateful to Annoushka Hempel for giving me this opportunity.  50 artists are participating in the Colombo Art Biennale, displaying their work over 14,000 sqft of space. In addition there are 25 other locations which will act as satellites to the main event and have mini-shows. You can read more about the event on their website here.
CAB artists

The theme for this years biennale is “Imagining Peace”

Peace – to encourage peace between and within nations, communities, families and individuals.  This is not so much about showcasing Sri Lankan art; this is a project with a vision. This is to show the world that despite the fact that Sri Lanka is a seemingly politically, ethnically polarized society, artists can work together as collectives, a sign of peace in itself. “Imagining Peace”- Imagining that people can work together. Source : CAB Mission

I believe that for sustained peace we need to shake off the past and move ahead.  The lotus flower amongst other things symbolizes peace. It is a beautiful representation of the indomitable and pure human spirit that has the ability to rise above the mud and murky waters to bloom into its pristine beauty.  The prospect of peace, unknown beyond past darkness is just as thrilling.  This has been the inspiration for the piece “Rise above the Past”

Rise-above-the-Past
“Rise above the Past” 36″ X 48″ Acrylic on canvas.

Annoushka Hempel is curating the work of 3 artists including me and you can read more about it in this clipping which appeared in The Daily Mirror this morning.
Annoushka's 3

Colombo Art Biennale 2009

A must attend event!

CAB

CAB

East or West, Bengal is the best!

E or W

Last year, I was invited by my friend and photographer,  Anil,  to be featured in a photo book,  A Month, 6 Artists and a Book that he was putting together for the Solo Photo Book Project that he’d signed up for.  I not only got to experience a photo shoot but also saw him work at making his first book and I must confess I was tempted to make one of my own.   After a year of taking photographs almost everyday,  I felt more prepared and jumped at the chance when it came around to sign up.

You can see the fruit of my labour – East or West, Bengal is the best!here.   It is based on photographs taken over a 3 week period.   A few have been taken when accompanying Anil on his photo shoots.  You can see his book, A Slice of Life, here.

P1140214

I had more or less decided to skip participating this year because of an unexpected opportunity of having solo art exhibition which kept me extremely busy.  For the four days of early morning (6am!!) shoots,  I mostly took video of the mad rush of frenetic activity in the fish market, Karwan Bazaar and the boats dredging and carrying sand on the Buri Ganga and at an abandoned stretch of railway track.  I was hoping to use still from the video as references for future work.  After the Solo finished I suddenly had a lot of time on hand and decided to give it a go.  On two of the days I ran out of tape and pulled out my still camera to take a few pics.  I’ve used some of these in the book.

P1140635

The one taken above of the sleeping vendor is one of my faves followed closely by the one of the men peering through the bars on the truck they were travelling in.  The one below is of a vegetable vendor who came up to me and demanded to be photographed and then proceeded to perform some form of martial arts.  He had everyone around him in splits.  Quite obviously a Kungfu movie buff.  He didn’t want to give up on his cigarette even for that brief performance!   Here’s the shortlist of 83 photographs from about a 1000.  The book has a smaller sub set of these.

Fu Man Choo!

In case you’re still reading and want to know more about the project, I’ve cut and pasted some info from the website.  Click on the links below to read about it in more detail and maybe join in next year?

What is SoFoBoMo

SoFoBoMo is short for Solo Photo Book Month – a group event where a bunch of photographers all make solo photo books start to finish, in 31 days, at more or less the same time. It’s modeled loosely on NaNoWriMo, where participating writers all write novels in a month, and NaSoAlMo, where musicians write and record solo albums in a month.

For SoFoBoMo, the goal is to make the photos, write any needed text, layout the book, and produce a PDF image of the book, all in 31 days. Rather than confining it to a single calendar month, we use a ‘fuzzy month’, where you can pick any contiguous 31 day period inside a two month window – this makes it a bit more flexible and encourages broader participation.

Choker dekha Praner katha

My first Solo exhibition ended earlier tonight.  This whole week has been exhilirating.    The Opening on the 29th was very well received.  I was touched by the speech made by Radha Chakravarty, Shahid Kabir, Baby Maudud and my husband (on my behalf).  Each in their own way went a long way in making the event special and one that I will never forget.  Inspite of being averse to public speaking I managed to get up and string a few words together.  Gallery Chitrak handled the event extremely well.  I was touched that so many of my friends made it to the event.

solo coverage

One nice thing about having a PR company whilst at Apple was the fact that you would regularly get clippings coverage in the media especially after an event.   This list is based on feedback and some that i’ve seen so far…

May 28th-July5th – photo listing in the Daily Star Art section banner,

The News Today – small write-up

Prothom Alo – small write-up

ABC Radio Channel – regular event announcement

and a review

What the eye sees, and the heart speaks” and article by Art critic, Takir Hossain in The Daily Star

IANS (Indo-Asian New Service) – picked up the story “Indian painter exhibits work for Bangladesh connoiseurs”  picked up by Thai Indian news, The Gaea News and my blog post by JalleDa and Art Investment@demo research

Ujwala Prabhu, a fervent painter” an article by art critic, Takir Hossain, in the Dhaka Courier.

Click on pic below to see some photos from the opening.

Solo 29th May 2009

An Invitation

ujwala solo 29 May 09

Do stop by if you’re in town.

DSfDFs : Portrait Challenge

Portrait Challenge

I’ve been a fan of Karin Jurick‘s paintings for a while now and have been lurking around her new blog Different Strokes from Different Folks since it started a few months ago.  But it was a portrait challenge that gave me the push to jump in and also the fact that we had 3 weeks to complete it. With all the travelling that I’ve been doing this time frame was crucial for me.

It’s been a great opportunity participating  in this portrait challenge and seeing all the fabulous work posted on her blog Different Strokes from Different Folks. It’s also been great putting faces to the names.

Painting and drawing have been going on since I last posted though at a slower pace than usual as I have been away from home for a while.  Now that I’m finally back, I’ll be posting more regularly.   Seeing all the fantastic artwork on DSfDFs has had me wanting to pull out my oils from where they’ve been lying neglected these last six months.  This piece, though, has been made using acrylics on canvas and is approx 12″ X 16″.  The paints were easier to travel with.

13th Asian Art Biennale ’08

Stop or else!

The Asian Art Biennale organised by the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy has been held in Dhaka since 1981.   A key art event in the region, it began with the aim of showcasing art from established and young artists portraying continuity and change.     The 13th Bangladesh Biennale is underway and I am delighted to have two of my paintings selected and one on display.

P1080579 P1080581

About the Painting (above)
Title : “Stop or else!”
Size : 24” by 30”
Medium: Acrylic on canvas

Tentative. Uncertain. Afraid.

Each of us has a boiling point and when we were younger we got there faster. Experience hadn’t taught us lessons of self preservation, forbearance, good sense or patience. Hot headed, hot blooded and extremely loyal, our actions took us to the point of no return and we made a stand for better or worse. Would it have made sense to deal harshly with us then? I feel bad when I read about tasers, lathi charges, rubber bullets and what-nots. Seems inhumane and unfair. Say No to violence against students.

ekla cholo re

About the Painting
Title : “Ekla cholo re”
Size : 24” by 36”
Status : SOLD
Medium: Mixed media on canvas

Sometimes, when there is a heavy load to bear, you have to walk alone.

This painting has been inspired by Tagore’s beautiful poem in Bengali, “Ekla cholo re” (walk alone) With apologies to Tagore. mostly translations do not capture the beauty of the original piece

Walk alone

If they do not answer to your call, walk alone,

If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,
unfortunate one,
open your mind and speak out alone.

If they turn away, and desert you when crossing the wilderness,
unfortunate one,
trample those thorns under your tread,
and along the bloodied track travel alone.

If they do not hold up the light on that stormy night,
unfortunate one,
with the flame of pain ignite your heart
and let it shine alone.

Running with the Bulls

Running with the bulls

I don’t normally post incomplete work here but I’m away on a longish holiday (back in Sep) starting today. Posts here might be irregular. Wanted to put up something that I’m excited about in case it is a longer break in between posts than usual. Hoping to finish this and do a few more in this series when I return. Will write more about “Running with the Bulls” with the post on the finished piece.

36″ X 30″ acrylic on canvas. This is based on one of the inspiring photo refs taken by Oochappan. Used with permission.

Update: Image updated with finished piece.

I’m in a book!

a month 6 artists and a book

Well, it didn’t come as a surprise 😀 Friend and Photographer, Anil Advani, asked if I’d be a part of a book that he was producing for SoFoBoMo and I readily agreed. It was especially exciting as the book was to be about six artists and their art. The photo below is one amongst many taken at a photo session. The book turned out to be fantastic. You can browse through it here.

a photo from the book