Artist Anuradha Kabra
Originally from Jodhpur (India), painter Anuradha Kabra has made Singapore her home since the past decade. Her informal education in art and music started from a very young age from her mother (Kamla Kabra) and father (Brijbhushan Kabra), both well-known artists. Her paintings reflect her deep interest in mythology and mysticism.
Interview with Anuradha Kabra
We sent few questions to Anuradha to know more about her as an artist, as a person, to get a deeper insight into her inspiration and her art. Here are her responses :
Q : Do you remember the time when you started taking keen interest in drawing and painting? Was it your childhood days or later?
A : I grew up seeing my mother dabble with painting and craft. She was and is highly skilled but never had the patience to sit and do it myself. I tried my hand at oil painting in 2009 for the first time. I did a few works but did not enjoy it much.
Q : Tell me more about your early years and education.
A : I was born in Jodhpur and grew up in Ahmedabad. I was never much interested in the school education but somehow managed to get myself a commerce graduate degree. My dad being such a well known musician, I was surrounded by artists of all kinds who visited us.
Q : What did you do after completing your education?
A : I was married at the age of 18 while I was still in college.. Once I graduated it was the life of a housewife in Mumbai.. Raised 3 kids.
Journey so far
Q : When was it that you first thought about making this your profession? Did you have a role model to emulate or was there someone in your family who was an artist and therefore a big influence?
A : In 2016 I started doodling with my pen on canvas sheets lying around and I loved it. Realised I had a good hand at drawing. I started drawing tons of animals. Then slowly the canvases became larger and I had some watercolour paints.. I started painting furiously in 2017 and I had lost all interest in everything.. My business too. So in December 2007 I shut down my business and completely focused on just painting. I had always been attracted to art. My business was also related to handicrafts and handmade furniture. I had visited Amsterdam in 2009 and was in love with Van Gogh’s work. I loved his bold strokes and vivid colours. Sometime in 2010, I went to an exhibition of MC Escher and loved the precision in his work. Since then these two have been my inspiration.
Q : Your journey as an artist?
A : … Has been phenomenal. I just knew that I wanted to create works with deeper meanings.. I have no idea how I suddenly started painting, ideas started popping in and the choice of colours still make me wonder.
Interests and inspiration
Q : Other interests in life? If you were not an artist, what would you be?
A : I would be a photographer, researcher, singer or dancer.
Q : Which artists have had a lasting influence on your thought process
A : Vincent Van Gogh and M C Escher.
Q : How interested are you in social and political issues? Have these at any point in time influenced your art practice?
A : I have no interest in politics but yes I do get affected by social issues. It bothers me and pains me to see how we as humans have drifted away from our roots. I have been on a journey since many years in trying to understand the mysteries of life. I have no answers yet.. But this has drawn me to study the roots of the cultures of different lands to understand what binds those people together. This is why I trained at the Asian Civilization Museum in Singapore to study the history of art and culture of different parts of Asia so that I have authentic knowledge and also for inspiration.
Q : Which themes have you enjoyed working on in your career so far?
A : I have enjoyed each theme equally. I am unable to paint unless I am completely enthused by what I am doing.
Q : What kind of work you see yourself doing in the future?
A : Such a tough question.
Currently I am doing something I had never thought of.. Birds. I just want to make tons of birds.. I am.so deeply attracted to what they symbolize to me.. Lightness of spirit, freedom.. They denote a sense of attachment with detachment. When I see them fly back to their nests in the evening, I wonder at their unity and harmony, their coordination and communication skills!
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