Her colourful palette
Anindita Kishore is a retired civil servant, who creates beautiful enamels that shine and glitter and attract their owners from far. Excerpts from her interview with ACF
Tell us about your journey and foray into the world of art.
My journey into the world of art began at school, in the 1960s. A Shankar’s International Art competition award was the spark. I then studied painting as a subject and obtained an all India top rank with distinction in painting and for academic excellence. One of my paintings was acquired by a collector from Illinois, USA, at that time.
My desire to attend Art College did not fructify for family reasons. I studied for Masters degrees in literature and history, became a journalist, illustrated books for the then Orient Longman Co. and magazines edited by the late Khushwant Singh.
A career in the civil service, thereafter, gave me the uncommon opportunity to experience the various facets of life, first hand. This wide experience has now become an invaluable asset to the development of my creative mind and vocabulary.
Creative work was permitted during service. I studied art, sketched, learnt enamelling, made paintings at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, painted portraits from life and illustrated more books.
Art never left me, nor I, art. When I switched my career and returned to Art again, my artwork was current and I was well prepared. In all this time, 46 exhibitions in India and abroad, more than 25 workshops and selection in 7 juried National and international art competitions, have kept me busy. My artwork is in private collections in India and the USA.
What is the medium that you like to work with?
I work with enjoyable ease with a variety of mediums, like Vitreous enamels on fine copper and silver, industrial enamel on steel, oil and/or acrylics on canvas, ink on paper.
This deliberate choice of keeping a variety of mediums simultaneously active, keeps my artistic vision in a consistent state of flux and injects necessary freshness in the projection of themes I wish to work on. Which is how I would want it to be as I do not wish to put a limit to my world of art.
Each medium provides me with a different set of challenges, with quite distinct colour palettes, techniques and historically tested progression as individual art forms. I practise each with care and revel in using my knowledge of one medium to bring out nuances in the other. In this manner, each medium, in my repertoire, influences and contributes to my work in the other. The painting process itself, and ultimately the end result become interesting, in this way.
Works that inspire you…
Artists, I sense, seek permanence and immortality, consciously or unconsciously, through their artwork. The mysterious smile of The Mona Lisa gives a glimpse of that immortality, engaging generations of viewers in its mystery.
The serenity and underlying philosophy within the landscapes of the late artists Jehangir Sabavala and Nicholas Roerich are an inspiration. They kindled my interest in embarking on a journey of philosophical enquiry through art. Similarly, the plique-a- jour enamels of the late Valeri Timofeev are examples of the timeless beauty of that delicate art form. The luminous colours in the master artist, Professor Niren Sengupta’s paintings unfold a deep awareness of meditative beauty. I intensely admire all of them.
Artists you have worked with…
I have been singularly fortunate to learn from acclaimed artists. In my Alma mater, Modern School, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi, I learnt to draw and paint from the late Kanwal and Devayani Krishna and learnt enamelling from the pioneer enamelist of our country, late Bishamber Khanna. That was through the 1960s. Undoubtedly, I fell in love with art and found my true calling.
Later, during the 1980s, my knowledge of art was enhanced by the master fine artist, the late Deb Kumar Roychowdhury, my maternal uncle. He was a faculty member of the College of Art, New Delhi, and an authority on the Methods and Materials of fine art. He taught me the importance and value of maintaining unimpeachable quality, good painting techniques and the enviable ability to achieve luminosity of paint on canvas. That learning process has left a lasting impression on my artwork in all the mediums I use.
In the first decade of this century, at the College of Art, New Delhi, I progressed even further when I learnt the skills and the thought processes required for enhancing the content and practice of fine art. I am grateful for the direct, consistent and careful tutelage of the then Principal of the college, Professor Vijayamohan, an exacting teacher, who instilled discipline in my work and helped me to develop an unerring eye.
Subsequently, I was again enormously fortunate to meet Veenu Shah, master enamelist, the teacher I had yearned to find since long. From her I learnt the skills required to become a competent, practising enamelist and thus bring my education in the fine art of enamelling to the stages of fruition, independence and enhanced enquiry. She then added to this knowledge even further through consistent exposures to the teachings and works of International enamelists of repute.
Your source(s) of inspiration?
My wellspring of inspiration comes from my constant desire to use my finite skills to give expression to the infinite on copper and canvas. The philosophical idea of the existence of permanence beyond the realms of a changing, apparent reality, causes my creative mind to explore themes and move to paint. Archeology, Cosmology, Geometry, Natural Environment, fascinate me.
School of art that you have been inspired by. Styles that you like to emulate.
Ancient cave art and Egyptian art have been an abiding inspiration. Ancient Indian art and architecture, Indian tribal and village art are roots that will stay with me.
I like to incorporate the elements of simplicity and at the same time, the geometric complexities of form, visible in many of these and other styles, into my artwork. The resultant style is my own language of painting. This, of course, may very well develop differently, later.
Your views on emerging art and the market it offers.
In my view, every artist develops constantly, emerging from one recognisable phase of his/her paintings into another. In that sense, the art of an artist is always emerging and a concept of a separate group of emerging art, perhaps does not truly exist.
There will always be a market for good quality artwork, with deeply thought out content and structure, expertly executed.