One of India’s top documentary filmmakers, with 17 national and one international awards to her credit, an exhibited photographer, published writer, designer, and now an accomplished artist—yes, we are talking of the same person.Over the past decades, Anu Malhotra has transformed the lives and minds of people across India and the world through her creativity. Moving with amazing ease between different mediums, she is Jack of all trades—and Master of them too.From her ongoing exhibition ‘Flow Dreams’ at The Apparao Gallery at The Lodhi hotel, to the one inspired by folk art dedicated only to totems and masks at the Bikaner House, she floored Delhi with her imagination.
When you ask her about her varied palette of work—she had initially also worked in advertising—the artist says, “But aren’t all of them related? They are all to do with creativity in the end. They are just different mediums to channelise your inner vision.”An intermittent painter in the early years, she’s given herself over to the power of painting for the last few years. A self-taught artist, Anu says, “With commercial fimmaking, I was sometimes working for almost 20 hours a day or even at times three days at a stretch. I finally decided to move away from commercial filmmaking and make documentaries at my own pace, for my own satisfaction and pleasure. And, all of a sudden I had a lot of time on hand.”
This ‘extra time’ led her to take up painting more seriously. Initially, she would restrict herself to gifting to friends and family, till she was coaxed into exhibiting her works some four years ago.
From then till now, it has been an unending journey. “I lose interest very quickly. Maybe that is the reason that I have graduated from canvas to sculptures within such a short period. I need to keep doing different things,” she laughs.
Using an unconventional palette, Anu has created an interesting technique of layering colours to create landscapes and still-lifes that burst with colours. She says, “One could say that my art is akin to colour therapy, an aesthetic route to positivity, for without that there is no life, no regeneration. The spectator experience of my work is driven towards positive energy, beauty, and radiance.” As per her ongoing commitment to social causes, Anu donates all her profits from the sale of her art works to charity.“In a world where a sense of impending doom and crisis punctuate our everyday, art can be our one primary source of consolation, an avowal of our humanity,” she signs off ‘Flow Dreams’ at The Lodhi, Delhi, on till Oct 31