Artist Sarojini Dutta’s excitement at having her first solo show at 64 is quite palpable, and so, we let her tell us all about it, without interrupting.
“This is my maiden painting venture after 40 years, so I’m on a high! I was 16 when I had my first show, and now I’m 64. It’s my first solo, though I asked Dr Vaneeta Kapur to join me. We were both from the same school, Mater Dei Convent [now School], same class, are of the same age... only she took up science and became a doctor, and I went into humanities. We caught up after nearly 45 years and did this show.
I married at 20, then had kids and though I did a few group shows, even sent my paintings Chicago and Bhutan, I couldn’t actively paint. But I can’t sit idle in one place, so I did my BEd, learnt computers, started making dresses, and finally opened a boutique 28 years ago to give my creativity a pathway. When I lost my husband 13 years ago, it took me 2-3 years to get back on feet. That’s when I encountered Buddhism… the prayers, chanting and philosophy, removed the blocks of fear from mind and heart.
Recently, I won first prize in a watercolour painting competition. That made me go ahead and plan this show. Vaneeta does impressionist landscapes, her use of colours are beautiful… I do more detailed works in watercolours and acrylics…we have a mutual admiration society going on here!
I love to travel, but didn’t start till I turned 50. Now I am covering the world with vengeance. Most of my paintings are memories from my travels. My work is very different, there’s no comparison and no competition! My works are priced from Rs 3,000 to 15,000. But both of us paint for the fun of it, and the sales will be part of that fun. I always carry my sketchbooks, and paint while waiting for the doctor or for the train. I always say, if you paint, you will never get bored. Oh, we’re here till the 13th. Do come and visit me.”
Till: February 13
At: CSOI Vinay Marg, Chanakyapuri