1. Sahifa Banu
Chances are, if you googled “women artists of India”, you’d come across a series of lists, with some names being common to every compilation. Interestingly, this important name has been omitted, or left out and somehow has been lost in the pages of history.
Activity Suggestion : Get your child to study an interesting pose of a foreign-politician / diplomat and create a portrait in the style of Sahifa Banu, i.e. use a big page border, and a smaller border for the actual painting. Tip: Use gold paint to make leaf & flower or even vegetable stamps.
2. Amrita Sher-gil
No conversation on Indian Modern Art is complete without the mention of Amrita Shergil. The nation’s most celebrated woman artist, she is popularly referred to as India’s Frida Kahlo. In her initial years of training in Paris, she drew inspiration from the likes of Paul Gaugin; but upon her return to India she found herself completely drawn to the murals of the Ajanta and Mughal miniatures. Her work explored the female body in a very different light and through her art she tried to capture the reality of emotion and daily life that she so keenly observed. Read more about her art here and find a lesson plan to teach about her!
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Recently a friend who's also a parent remarked when she read my blog: "how are people going to appreciate art and museums unless they stop feeling intimidated by them?" To be honest, this was the kind of insight I had never got. This is when I remembered my teacher @natsmills – because of who I stopped feeling intimidated by art and learnt to see it. So this #womensday I decided to start a series of posts ( Looking at Indian Art ) to help parents, educators etc guide #children to see and experience the art and artists of #india. I decided to begin with Amrita Shergil. I have been in love with her for as long as I can remember. Her art and writing both are always so direct. I have been most touched by her nudes and how she presents them. Not in a typically sexy away, and a little disengaged from the viewer, making its appeal even more special. So here it is: a free downloadable resource with a video story, art information and 10 activities for children to learn about her technique, subjects and appreciating the art of #amritashergil : bit.ly/AShergil Interestingly, when I was typing this, I realised that the Hashtag for Amrita has 874 posts whereas #fridakahlo – has 13,22000. Amrita Shergil is famously known as India's Frida Kahlo and these dismal numbers just make me feel that we really need to start talking about such iconic artists from India! #indianartist #ngma #modernart #postimpressionism #museums #art #artforkids #lookingatart #lookingatindianart #arthistory #digitalresources #freedownload #activitybook #womensday #womenartists #trendsetter #againstallodds #newpost #childrenatmuseums #colour #colorist #nude #femalebody #selfportrait #selfie
Activity Suggestion: Amrita Shergil was known for the use of the chiriascuroso technique. Get your child to make a drawing based on observation of a real-life scene and then colour it using the various shades of only two colours.
3. Meera Mukherjee
4. Nasreen Mohamedi
5. Arpita Singh
One of the most important painters in Indian Contemporary Art, Arpita Singh presents her women with an irony you cannot miss.
Arpita Singh’s paintings are a reflection of the life of ‘real’ women and the emotions that she exchanges with these subjects. Her paintings are in bright appealing hues which often employs traditional Indian forms and aesthetics.
Even though the women in Arpita Singh’s paintings and their activities conform to the typical Indian cultural scene, they refrain from being silent.
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Arpita Singh's painting, titled "Leaping Bridges" is a take on the Partition and Ramayana – you can spot the golden deer trying to cross over what seems to be a senseless rendering of lines – as senseless as perhaps the Partition- which, as Arpita Singh puts it "even went through people's kitchens!" #indiapakistan #border #dividedwefall #politicalart #politics #ramayana #india #history #partition #art #painting #5womenartists #contemporaryart #arpitasingh #theheritagelab