The Telegraph
Tuesday , January 7 , 2014
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Mother’s sacrifice shows on canvas

A mother abandoning her newborn daughter because of family pressure, the aftermath of the Bodhgaya blasts and other thought-provoking issues are being brought to life on canvases at a painting workshop.

Amateur and established artists have come together for the three-day workshop, Akhil Bharatiya Shitkalin Chitrakala Karyashala, which started on Sunday at Bharatiya Nritya Kala Mandir. Former principal of College of Arts and Crafts, Patna, Shyam Sharma inaugurated the workshop that has been organised by Gyan Kiran and Srijan Bihar.

Among the 40 and odd participants at the workshop was collage artist Shakila Sheikh from Bengal. An artist of international acclaim — her works have been displayed in galleries in India, Paris and New York — Sheikh left the workshop on Monday after the demise of her mentor BR Panesar in Calcutta.

Although she has left, Sheikh’s collage has been displayed at the workshop. Through the collage, she has raised the rights of a girl child. The painting depicts a woman abandoning her child in a jungle.

Manoj Kumar Bachchan, one of the organisers of the workshop, said: “Sheikh has not shown the mother’s face in the painting but only her shadow. It is a beautiful depiction of the subject that the artist wants to portray. On several occasions, mothers have to take such an extreme step under pressure from the family. The mother in Sheikh’s painting does not show her face, as she is ashamed of what she is doing.”

Other participants at the workshop included artists from Jharkhand and Madhubani in Bihar.

Anand Prakash Mehta, an artist from Bokaro, is working on a painting that shows the consequences of the Bodhgaya blasts. Titled Pieces of Peace, it depicts how the explosions in July last year took away peace of the spiritual land.

Mehta, whose earlier works include one on the December 16 Delhi gang rape, said: “The Bodhgaya blasts shook everybody’s conscience. So, I decided to work on this subject. I have shown Buddha crying and beside him there is a bleeding pigeon. I will also show a scene from the Bodhgaya blasts.”

For Sunil Modi, another artist from Bokaro, the workshop is special.

“I have come to Patna after a very long time. I am a 1988-batch student of the College of Arts and Crafts. This workshop has given me the chance of visiting my college. This trip will be memorable for me,” Modi said .

He added: “Amateur as well as professional artists are taking part in this workshop. It will allow the budding artists to mingle with the experts and polish their work. They can learn about texture, colour and other aspects.”

Madhulika Srivastava, a 17-year-old amateur painter, who visited the workshop, said: “I loved the Madhubani paintings. Watching the local artists of Madhubani at work was an enriching experience.”