‘Art is a solitary, meditative practice for me’

Like Sylvia Plath, from one of whose poems, ‘Mystic’, she drew the title of her current show in Delhi, artist Anju Dodiya is always looking for hooks to allay the fears and anxieties that shadow her i

Published: 10th March 2018 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th March 2018 10:25 AM   |  A+A-

Like Sylvia Plath, from one of whose poems, ‘Mystic’, she drew the title of her current show in Delhi, artist Anju Dodiya is always looking for hooks to allay the fears and anxieties that shadow her imagination. She speaks to Medha Dutta about her works that are fraught with psychological perplexity, the interplay of torment and creative anticipation.

Tell us about your art.
It has been a journey of a fictional self-image and in tensely choreographed narratives. Watercolour has been my medium for over 20 years now, with excited interruptions with working on fabric.

What influences your art?
I feel rich in all the inputs that I allow into my image-making. From the early Italian masters like Giotto and Piero Della Francesca, the delightful Robert Rauschenberg, and going on to fashion icons like Rei Kawakubo—I have seeking eyes always. I am also inspired by poetry and cinema. I often jot down a phrase or a line from a poem—which can trigger a series of images.

Anju Dodiya | Shekhar Yadav

Did you always want to be an artist?
I went to the JJ School of Art, Mumbai, after two years of studying Commerce—which I absolutely hated. I felt creative but didn’t have the confidence to jump into art school. A few weeks of art school and I knew that this was what I would love to do. I realised I only wanted to be an artist.

I have heard your studio is like a meditation room.
Well, art is a solitary, meditative practice for me. I have some plants, books and music for company in my studio.

Have you and your husband—artist Atul Dodiya—ever collaborated on a project?
There was one work, many years ago. Artist couples were invited to an exhibition to collaborate, and we ended up doing it.

It’s a family of artists, so what are dinner conversations on the table like?
Yes, my daughter is an artist too, and we are always talking art. Holidays are museum marathons for us. Arguments and conversations are all triggered by art. It’s kind of crazy and obsessive.

Does the young generation in India really understand and appreciate art?
Yes, young people are open, smart and inquisitive. Perhaps the art of painting is not practiced as much so the viewers are less patient and observing of it which is sometimes thought of as an old-fashioned medium.

Short Takes

The artists she is most influenced by.
Philip Guston and Robert Rauschenberg

Her favourite art work.
The Scrovegni Chapel in Padua with Giotto’s fresco cycle

The most underrated artist.
Masters such as Piero Della Francesca and Morandi were both underrated in their times

Favourite stress-buster.
Watching movies

Stay up to date on all the latest Magazine news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp