Indian artist Sushmita Gupta is in the process of compiling a book of poems that are also expressed as paintings
Indian artist in Oman, art exists everywhere; you only need a creative inclination to notice it, even in the most mundane aspects of everyday life, she says.
Sushmita, who has been painting since she has been a little girl, has over the past few years added a new dimension to her creative flair – she writes poems to complement most of her artworks, thereby making them come alive via two mediums of expression.
“I am an artist by nature. Right from childhood, I used all the time at my disposal for painting and later it took on a more serious form. Today, painting is more than just a hobby or a profession; it has become part and parcel of my life itself,” she says, adding that she cannot imagine a life devoid of art as it has become the pulse of her very existence.
“A time came when I started painting on canvas but before that it was on paper, on walls, on shells, on sarees, almost everywhere I could do so. A few years ago, former Indian ambassador, Anil Wadhwa, took note of my art and encouraged me to create a collection of around 60 paintings for a solo exhibition. That’s how I arrived on the art scene in Oman,” Sushmita disclosed.
By and by, Sushmita started writing poetry, too, and soon discovered that art and poetry gelled well together. Most of her paintings and poetry are women oriented and each one of them tell a story. In fact, the poems and paintings she has done over the years reveal shades of her own personality as well as various stages of life she has been through.
Sushmita is one of the key members who founded Rangrez, a group of Indian artists in Oman as well as the Mona Lisa Art Club, both of which provide common platforms for women artists in Oman to showcase their work periodically. She has also participated in many joint exhibitions over the years and most of her work gets easily sold, she says.
Currently, Sushmita runs a weekend class for young students of grades 1 to 6, teaching life skills. The class is called ‘Class Apart’ and it addresses many aspects of learning to help children gain a good self-image, explore their own potential as well as learn how they can contribute to society.
About her twin talent for art and poetry, Sushmita says often she writes the poem first and then creates a painting to match it while sometimes it is the other way round. “When I write a poem, I am so involved that images come to my mind. Often, I am able to match some of my paintings and poems. I am currently in the process of compiling a book with 80 poems and 80 paintings,” she said, adding, “Incidently, I have just finished writing my 800th poem.”
Cues, conflicts and conversations
My biggest inspiration: My mother, an artist, who has also read all my poems has been guiding me all through.
I don’t believe in: Realism. For me a photograph is a photograph, you don’t need to paint it again.
I can explore: The idea of teaching young minds to paint and write poetry simultaneously, so that young minds can acquire this skill.
I haven’t yet faced any conflict in matching my poems with my paintings. I am happy the way they turn out.
My most beautiful combination of a painting and a poem:Yes I have a few, but the most popular one is ‘Goddesses all’ which I have recited at many forums.
My darkest poem: There is one which portrays a conflict in a couple, I call it ‘Taken by the flood’
My favourite colour: Blue, because it represents the sky.
With tools: Not really, but I do have a fondness for my brushes and my canvass. They often suggest many things to me.
Haunted by a poem: There is one called ‘A raven and a sick child’, which is the story of a poor family.