Emotions find colour in canvas

Not all have the courage to make a choice to transform; for, the process is often gruelling. Just when the caterpillar thought that the world was over, it became a butterfly.

Published: 11th March 2021 05:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th March 2021 05:53 AM   |  A+A-

Shanthipriya’s first solo exhibition will be held on March 12 and 13

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Not all have the courage to make a choice to transform; for, the process is often gruelling. Just when the caterpillar thought that the world was over, it became a butterfly. Such is also the story of Dr Shanthipriya, a survivor of Parkinson’s disease, whose journey of transformation can be seen through her artworks in her soon-to-be-released book Metamorphosis.

This work, along with 37 other acrylic paintings on canvas, will find a place in her first solo exhibition, Minerva, at Art Houz in Nungambakkam on March 12 and 13. Shanthi’s tryst with art began two years back after visiting an art exhibition in the city.

Intrigued by what her eyes saw and heart experienced, the now 48-year-old artist found a canvas to depict emotions that women go through. “I always go with the flow. At times, I surprise the canvas with contrasting colours. Sometimes, it is otherwise; the output is thrilling,” she says.

Fine without fine strokes
The travails of her artistic journey are many, however, she continues to battle the odds both creatively and systematically. “Sometimes, my hands become stiff and detailing becomes difficult. There are days when I kneel and paint to overcome tremors.

But, I always stayed determined to complete the work and inspire others to believe in themselves,” says the founder of Support Awareness Action and Rehabilitate (SAAR) Foundation, an NGO in Chennai that exclusively addresses the problems of people with Parkinson’s Disease.

Beyond canvas & colours
Fortune favours the brave, they say, and sure, Shanthi’s efforts were recognised when she was felicitated by Art for Inclusion in 2019, an initiative by India Inclusion Summit, which encourages artists with disabilities. Adding another feather to her creative hat, she even discovered the poet in her during the lockdown. “Besides working on over 35 paintings, the pandemic gave me time to introspect and write down my thoughts as evocative verses.

They find a place in Metamorphosis,” shares Shanthi, who is now trying her hands at fluid and alcohol ink arts. The art-cum-poetry book published by Knowrap Imprints reflects Shanthi’s musings. “The 80-page book, broadly women-centric, has six sections Vena vid vici (came saw conquered), Reverie, Elysian (paradise), Meraki (something about your soul creativity), Crux of life, and Eunoia (beautiful thinking). Each painting, mostly abstract, will have a verse to it.

While some verses were selectively written to suit the paintings, others were matched later. The verses were edited by Illango and Aparna Suresh, a poet and academician.” In 2020, Shanthi became the first Indian to be selected as one of the 15 ambassadors for the sixth World Parkinson Congress. Shanthi’s journey reminds us that art offers a hopeful gesture, a space to heal and move forward.


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 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 are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of 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. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp