India@75: UAE artists join celebrations with exhibition

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Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav art and craft exhibition at the Consulate-General of India, Dubai. — Photo by Juidin Bernarrd
Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav art and craft exhibition at the Consulate-General of India, Dubai. — Photo by Juidin Bernarrd

Dubai - UAE-based Indian artists showcase artworks inspired by the culture, heritage and traditions of India


Purva Grover

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Published: Thu 15 Jul 2021, 8:52 PM

UAE-based Indian artists will showcase unique stories of the Indian freedom movement at an art and craft exhibition in Dubai to celebrate 75 years of progressive India.

Titled ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, with the theme as India@75, the exhibition was inaugurated at the Consulate-General of India, Dubai, on Thursday.

The India@75 initiative would run globally over the next two years to celebrate the people, history, culture and achievements of India and Indians around the world. It will focus on five pillars: The Freedom Struggle, Ideas@75, Achievements@75, Actions@75, and Resolves@75.

Dr Aman Puri, Consul-General of India, Dubai, invited Indians to take part at the India Pavilion at Expo 2020. “As you are aware that on August 15, 2022, we will be completing 75 years of independence and the celebrations for it started 75 weeks prior to the day. We at CGI take pride in serving the single largest Indian community of 2.7 million in Dubai.”

The guest of honour at the event, Khalil Abdul-Wahid, Director of Fine Arts, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, said: “It was an honour to see how the CGI is both a diplomatic and cultural hub. I enjoyed meeting the artists, it was an experience pleasing to the eye and also interacting with the artists was a learning process for me. We are lucky that we live in the UAE, which is a multicultural place.”

The participating artists include Atul Panase, Swapnil Jawale, Anjani P Laitu, Akshay Arora, Shrutika Gosavi, Masarratfatima Sulaimani, Punam A Salecha, Vidisha Pandey, and Soumya Shree. It was interesting to note that four of the artists whose work is on display, hold the Golden UAE Visa. The idea of the exhibition was conceptualised two months ago when artists were invited via an open call to send in their entries (653 submissions were received) and the works were selected on the basis of how they celebrated the ideas and achievements of India in sectors that have led to a self-reliant India.

Senior Indian artist and illustrator Atul Panase, who has been practising art in Dubai for 20 years, and who is the art curator for the exhibition said: “The exhibition is a reflection of the nine flavours of art expression. Each piece on display speaks of a different style of art, including, but not limited to traditional Warli painting, abstract form, pen and ink-work, and more.”

Artist Shrutika Gosavi said: “It’s a great initiative by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to invite all us, globally, to join in these celebrations. I am honoured to be part of the exhibition.”

One of the works of Gosavi depicts the major events of the country including the migration and Gandhi’s salt march. She has also added symbols like the lotus (national flower of the country), hands (unity), a tonga (traditional carriage), an Indian thali (food), and more.

Masarrat Fatima’s work represents the common man of India. She said: “My work is a tribute to the people of India, and I have created it using the Sanjhi art form presented in a contemporary manner.”

You can view the artworks at the Consulate-General of India, Dubai, until September 8. Visiting hours (Monday and Wednesday) 2pm-6pm.

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