CREATES NEW LIFE IN AN ART FORM
Artist Madhuri Bhaduri.
An accomplished painter, artist, sculptor, a badminton player, a multi-faceted personality Madhuri has been felicitated at several national and international forums for her abstract, figurative and inimitable contribution to this industry.
Excerpts from an interview:
You have been in the industry for four decades now, what are your best memories through the journey?
My journey started in 1977 and as an artist, every day is a new experience and contributes to the whole journey. I was extremely overwhelmed when my work was appreciated by the late Mr Jamshed Bhabha and the late Maharani Gayatri Devi in my first show at the Jehangir Art Gallery in 1988. In the year 2008 Mr Vikram Singh a very senior and well established celebrity interior designer hosted a private show at his residence in Delhi and to my amaze all my works were booked even before I reached the venue. In the year 2009 I was thrilled when Mr S.h.raza agreed to inaugurate my show. In 2011 the legendary Asha Bhosale inaugurated my show in Jehangir which also marked my 25 years of exhibiting and 35 years in the field. Being a badminton player, how did you get attracted towards art?
I was always fond of drawing and painting and other forms of creative expression from my school days. I did not start out as an artist. Being trained in badminton since my childhood, along with my father I cherished a love for the sport and even went so far as to win three national level titles. Apace with badminton, I pursued a degree in Economics, studied French and took a course in Hotel Management. But it was much later I decided to pursue my passion in art and desired to be an artist, by undergoing a formal training, a master's degree in art in the year 1988. This is where my journey as an artist began and eventually my love for art overpowered my passion for sports.
Initially your canvas was filled with figurative paintings then how you switched from figurative to the abstract mode?
Extending my formal study of human figures during my Masters, I painted nudes and figurative
through the 1990s after which I felt the urge to move on and create works that expressed my inner feelings. I also worked on a series of clown paintings - poignant works of painted faces concealing pain- that conveyed my sensitivity to life’s experiences, of the exigency of at times presenting a cheerful demeanor to the world, and of making others laugh in the most testing of times. Yet, drawing from the spirit of my figurative works, I found my true self and fulfillment while creating abstract compositions. Discovering abstraction is much deeper than a play of colour or lines. They help you understand and work out the complexity of your own emotions.
After dedicating a majority of your career to your favourite medium – oil on canvas, you took to sculpting and creating “assemblages” using metal scrap, why did you choose it?
Around 2002 I took to sculpture, crafting works of scrap metal, savoring the possibilities of the expression as sculpture-unlike painting-offers viewers the joy of viewing works from all around. If this attribute is explored in its entirety then it transforms sculpture into an object that offers continual, changing and neverending surprises and engagement. To me, sculpture is an attempt to understand and realise more completely what form and shape are all about. Everything-from scrap metal to elements of nature-can offer a start for a new idea. The feeling of reincarnating old, unused, lifeless objects and creating new life in an art form which will live forever, is an overwhelming one.
Have you faced any challenges in the journey of art? Especially being a woman?
The toughest tribulation of all was when my husband had a prolonged illness and I had to bring up our son all by myself. He passed away in 2007 and I was left with no hopes. But amidst all the pessimism, I backed myself and remained positive throughout that dark phase.
This is true that in the past, art was considered as a hobby and not practiced as an occupation. My father was not very keen on me pursuing painting as a career. My mother being an artist herself boosted my morale to pursue painting. Fortunately, my painting style was applauded and I had my first show in 1986. The response was overwhelming; this further encouraged me to take up art as a profession. Art, which was my profession, became a great source of emotional satisfaction and solace.
Your art works have featured in thirty eight solo shows and more than seventy six groups’ shows in India and abroad, how do you take success?
Being in the field of art, an artist has to incessantly work towards achieving perfection. Thusly, I have acclimatized myself to this work culture. Work has always been my prerogative and an eternal part of my existence. I could easily adapt to this working style because, I have been trained from a young age to work hard and put in my best foot forward, always.
What is the source of your inspiration and expressions?
In my formative years, I was greatly influenced by the impressionist painters especially Vincent Van Gogh and the abstractionist Paul Klee. My intense connection with nature which gets transposed into my abstract work is a result of my involvement with the subject as an artist my everyday life, travels and surrounding influences become a subject of my work. Besides, my grandmother who lived till the age of 90 was another of the inspirations of my life.
What are you currently working on? I am working on a major solo show in the capital, New Delhi where I will be showcasing a large body of painting, sculpture and installations. I have also planned a couple of shows in Europe and America in the later part of the year. We