A D A Y I N T H E L I F E O F . . . ‘ We are all cre­ators’

WKND - - W H A T ’ S H O T - Su­jata Ba­jaj artist

How do you typ­i­cally start your work­day? I sit in my stu­dio and look at my pre­vi­ous day’s work, let it sink in. Since I am al­ways alone with my paint­ing, it be­comes a med­i­ta­tive process, helped by my work­ing style, which is to sit cross- legged in front of the can­vas. My mind be­comes calm and free from the clut­ter. It is a com­plete ex­pe­ri­ence and, at some point, it doesn’t mat­ter where I am: in Paris, Dubai or In­dia...

De­scribe your work in a sen­tence. My work starts i n my mind long be­fore I pick up the brush; then when it phys­i­cally be­gins, I let my sub­con­scious take over the process and leave my cre­ativ­ity to in­spi­ra­tion.

How do you think art in­spires life? And life in­spires art? Life and art go to­gether and it has al­ways been like that. The ear­li­est r ecords of or­gan­ised hu­man ac­tiv­ity are as­so­ci­ated with com­plex cave paint­ings. Art is all a r ound us. There i s a r t i n ev­ery­thing. We are all cre­ators.

What is your # 1 per­sonal prin­ci­ple or suc­cess mantra while at work? I wish to re­main sin­cere and au­then­tic in my artis­tic work — as in all as­pects of my life. Th­ese val­ues are in­grained in me.

Do you have a catch­phrase you like to use to in­spire peo­ple around you? For us hu­mans, there is n o s u c h t h i n g a s ab­so­lute per­fec­tion — just the end­less pur­suit of it.

In your work­day, what is the one thing you can­not do with­out? A word of en­cour­age­ment or even a crit­i­cal com­ment from my hus­band, Rune. I might not agree — I might even not like it — but I know his sin­cer­ity, which I value. What has your most chal­leng­ing pro­ject to date been? If I have to se­lect one sin­gle pro­ject, it has to be my Gana­p­ati pro­ject. The size of the pro­ject was daunt­ing: com­pil­ing 30 years of draw­ings, col­lages, paint­ings and sculp­tures into a co­her­ent body of work was a big task. It took more than three years to com­plete. I also had to keep this pro­ject purely artis­tic: my aim was t o f o c us o n t he f o r m as­so­ci­ated with Gana­p­ati us­ing my artis­tic vo­cab­u­lary, not the mul­ti­ple mean­ings and be­liefs mil­lions of In­di­ans as­so­ci­ate with this form.

Who’s your role model as the per­fect pro­fes­sional? I have had men­tors to whom I owe a great deal but I don’t fol­low any­one. I try to pick the best qual­i­ties of my men­tors, know­ing that no­body is per­fect and has never been.

Your favourite in­dul­gence when you need a break from work? When­ever I get a chance I es­cape to the sea, moun­tains, woods or the sand dunes. I love be­ing in di­rect con­tact with na­ture.

What is the last thing you usu­ally do be­fore you go to sleep? I have a chat with He­lena, my daugh­ter, who stud­ies in New York and get an up­date on her life. Then, my hus­band and I try to sum up the day.

What is your great­est dream, pro­fes­sion­ally? I wish for my cre­ative urge to con­tinue al­low­ing me to keep tak­ing up new chal­lenges — then come what must come. We do not con­trol our des­tiny, but maybe we can add a small twist to it?

— Staff re­porter

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