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Framed
March 10, 2016

Seeking Ganesha with Sujata Bajaj

Text by Huzan Tata

View the artist’s interpretations of the elephant god through her paintings and sculptures

God, it is said, is within each one of us. And for acclaimed artist Sujata Bajaj, it is the elephant god, Ganesha, who she seeks through her creations. “When I paint him, I am certainly not painting a god. I am, in fact, through the process, experiencing my own artistic freedom and the immense joy intrinsic to that freedom,” says Bajaj about her works. In Ganesha, her first solo show after a gap of four years, Bajaj will present paintings and sculptures created over the last three decades. The artist, who has a PhD in Indian tribal art, will also launch a coffee-table book titled Ganapati that is a brilliant showcase of her life and works.

On her love for painting
“My passion is like a flame burning inside me. It keeps me inspired and ensures a sincere and authentic approach to my work and creativity.”

On her divine muse
“I feel a sense of complete freedom and liberty in abstracting Ganapati’s image. No other form lends itself as vividly to the abstract. These drawings are part of my life.”

On the exhibition
“Here I have unleashed my memories — of colour, childhood influences, Ganapati, and the essence of my life — and juxtaposed them with my work.”

On the coexistence of traditional and new art forms
“They can certainly survive together. This is why Indian artists are so enriched — we have centuries of art and culture to lean on. This adds a multidimensional aspect to the works emerging from India. New technologies, approaches and media only enhance the same, increasing their reach and connectivity.”

On her art
“Throughout my career, I have explored different materials in my collages, mixed media works, etchings and sculptures. I have made extensive use of gold foil in my work and have incorporated some original Ganapati miniatures which I have collected over the years. Newspapers from France and Norway, maps of France and other European countries, metro maps, crossword puzzles, old French documents and wallpapers…these materials reflect my belonging to these worlds, and my life in India, France, and Norway. When I unify these sources of inspiration by using them in my works, I am trying to unify my own life…trying to make sense of it, and harmonising it.”

Ganesha will be on display at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai from March 8 – 14, 2016 and at Gallery Art & Soul, Mumbai from March 15 to April 1, 2016

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