Through her bold brush strokes, Manjusha Srivastava is not only trying to create a new identity (as an artist) for herself but also bring out the hidden ambitions and dreams of several women like her. Her first exhibition held at the Capital recently highlights the complexities of being a woman and her struggles. In an exclusive interview with Indusscrolls.com, the artist explains why every woman should attempt to create an identity for herself.
How did your journey with art begin?
Art has always been my passion. I have been painting and teaching art for 8 years now but this is my first exhibition. I decided to make my passion as my profession as well and so came up with this exhibition to reach out to art lovers.
You were a graphic designer. When did this transition from graphic designer to painter happen?
It is true that I started my career as a graphic designer. However, I have been teaching art now for 8 years. This gave me an exposure and opportunity to work with different colour schemes, layouts etc. I apply my experience as a graphic designer to my paintings as well.
Your paintings revolve around the themes of women…
Most of my artwork depicts a woman’s journey because in our society a woman has to struggle to create her identity. For example in the painting titled ‘The mermaid and the moon’, I have depicted that how a mermaid wishes to fly high to reach the moon. It is not only her dream to reach the moon but she is also ambitious to leave the ocean (her small world) and explore the vast sky. Similarly, every woman wants to break the barriers which the society has set for her. The modern woman wants to fly high and wants to achieve her goals and freedom.
What does your painting ‘Oasis in her eyes’ depict?
The painting ‘Oasis in her eyes’ depict that a woman keeps her calm even in harsh desert conditions. The twinkle or dream in the desert girl’s eyes is like an oasis. In another painting, a girl is looking at the colourful kites flying high. It depicts different ambitions and dreams of the girl. Her goals may be out of reach now but her eyes are focussed on her dreams.
Do these paintings depict your life’s journey as well?
The themes portrayed in my paintings are not just about my life or my journey. They tell stories of every woman. I have seen how women have to go through a lot of hardships to come up in life. The society treats men and women differently. The problem is not the struggle that one encounters. But it’s the way the society looks at a woman. For example in India if a man pursues painting, then it is considered as a skill. But if a woman pursues painting or art, it is considered as a hobby. People question me many times as to why I am indulging in painting and wasting time. But I want to convey the message that my art is an extension of my expression as a woman. I feel that financial independence is the secret to making a woman strong in the society. My success as a mother and wife is not enough. For many, it is not an identity. So I decided to pursue my passion as a profession to show that I can be a successful individual as an artist. I want to create my own identity as a woman.