With the International Women's Day around the corner on March 8, a successful artist for the past four decades, Madhuri Bhaduri has dabbled in many fields. She has been felicitated by the Women’s Economic Forum (WEF 2016) as an Iconic Leader in the field of Art, Design and Entrepreneurship and from being a national champion in badminton to becoming an abstractionist, there is a lot to learn from Madhuri. In an interview, Madhuri told HerZindagi that 'It is important to be comfortable in your own space'.
Having Dabbled In So Many Fields Before What Made You Get Into Art Finally?
I was born into a family where my father was the national champion in badminton and my uncle and aunt have all played badminton and so it was sports in my blood so when I actually spent my first 17-18 years playing competitive badminton at national level it was the most normal thing as a part of growing up in my family and my mother was a classical singer on all India Radio for almost 50 years and that was when I think from where my art actually came genetically.
Also, when I was in college and used to play competitive badminton the only thing that I could really concentrate in college was doing arts. When I was in school I was very good at drawing and colouring and I would do all the submissions for myself as well for my friends before time. With gradual realisation, I decided and one day announced it to my parents that it is more of art that interests me rather playing in the court.
I was lucky enough that my parents supported me and trusted on my interest and then after in the year 1977 I started painting. But even at that point it was more out of a passion to paint rather than as a profession and slowly and gradually as I started painting people started appreciating my work I got a lot of positive responses from my collectors and then that is how I started exhibiting my works and of course went on to study again. I went and studied 5 years of Art and finish my Masters in 1988 and in the meanwhile, I also pursued a diploma in French for 3 years. Once I started in my first show in 1986, there was no stopping back and then I got into the professional art world and with God’s grace got multiple accolades.
What Inspires You The Most?
Well, I think anything and everything! Inspiration could be just anything around me that really touches me deeply enough to get my emotional outburst and gets me to paint and I am more of a nature person and I get inspired by a very beautiful sight around me or maybe it's a very intense moment in a natural environment. A moment that can make all the senses feeling life and get you to think over and over again about a particular place you have been to or experienced.
Also, one thing that is common in my work is light illumination – how the light falls on different elements of nature because for me nature is a medium of expression whether it is a landscape with its a horizon whether it's a water body whether it is reflections whether it is anything to do with a human form of whether it is to do with whichever objects or whichever mindscape that I am looking at it is how the light is falling and the play of colours, the play of strokes, the play of abstract forms that come together in a sort of a wave so this is the way I think my mind works in similarly all this is what gets transferred on the canvas.
Not Many Understand Art & Then They Tend To Criticise It, What Would You Say To Those People?
I wouldn't say that anything you scribble paint or do is art because art is a very subjective thing I feel that once you are out of an art school and you know how to colour and paint assuming that your skills are in place it is that after that comes what you create as an individual is a very unique expression of the form of art that you decide is what makes it art. I would not loosely categorise it in that way and it is also perceived over a long period of time.
It cannot be one piece of an artwork if you follow a whole lifetime of pursuing your expressions in the form of an artwork and then you assess the whole career and the way the conversation between the viewers and the earth has transpired between in a period of time that is when you will be able to actually decide what is art whether it is good, whether it's a feeling, whether it has been successful.
Her Message For The Women Of Today
As a woman, the one message I think that I would like to sort of share with all my women friends is that it is very important to feel comfortable in your own space. First one needs to be self-reliant and independent financially, mentally and physically because I feel until and unless you know you are in that position it is very difficult to command respect or gain the respect of people around you.
Inheriting the feeling of independence can only help you to take responsibility for your own actions and not rely on somebody else because once you are self- reliant then you are in a space which is very comfortable.
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