Kiran Soni Gupta:
|Kiran Soni Gupta is artist, writer and an activist turned administrator. Presently, she is posted as Commissioner, Command Area Development and Colonisation, Bikaner. After a brilliant career in academics, she joined Indian Administrative Service in 1985 and has held various distinguished assignments. Her concerns and sensitivity to various contemporary issues have been expressed regularly in her writing for print media of National and International repute. It is however through brush and colours that her creativity and sensitivity finds best illustration and expression. Despite having no formal training in art, she has produced works in different forms and styles. Her conviction and clarity on issues relating to women, children, poverty, development, and environment are clearly visible through her works. Her keen sense of observation, humility and an abounding faith in God and service to humanity and mankind give her work a vivid reflection. Her varied experiences have been expressed in landscape in oil, stained glass, knife painting, watercolours and in mixed media. Etching, wood cuts, linocuts, lithographs and calligraphy are some other area of her creativity.|
Recently, a National award by All India Fine Arts and Craft Society (AIFACS, New Delhi) was conferred on her for her illustrative painting on Drought. She spoke to RealBikaner.Com on various aspects of her arts and creative life. Here are the excerpts of her exclusive interview with RealBikaner.Com
What made you inclined to the world of colours and brush? How did you improve your
skills of expressing emotions without formal training and classes?
Kiran Soni Gupta: Basically arts come as natural thing to me. Everyone has a bit of element of one or other form of arts within. It was my elder sister who used to do painting. One day, when she was out somewhere, I tried some colours on paper. On her return, she was angry that who (mis)used her colours? Frightened completely, I told her that it was me and she asked me to show what I did. I brought out that paper on which I tried a bride offering flowers. She not only cooled down but also did some brushing to it, gave it final touch and patted my back. This was my first work with colours and paper and I got it framed. It is still with me. Then after, she encouraged me a lot. My father inspired and encouraged me all the time after he knew my interest in creative arts. He was the prime motivating force behind my arts.
From then onwards, I kept on experimentation with my arts and got a huge collection of different works that I did. I participated in many exhibitions but it was in November 2002 when my first solo exhibition was organized at the Taj hotel, Mumbai. I met famous painting artist Mr. R. D. Pareek during the exhibition. He encouraged me for my works and styles. My next solo exhibition was organized at AIFACS Gallery, New Delhi during January 2003. The idea of hosting Platinum Jubilee of AIFACS at Bikaner in the form of Kala Kumbh - 2003 took birth during this exhibition and we organized it quite successfully in the city of Bikaner. This is how I grew step by step in the field of creative arts.
|As an artist, what impress you more – form of arts or expression?|
Kiran Soni Gupta: Aesthetic sense is present in every form of arts. The visual and emotional elements of painting appeal a lot. I think it is the expression that leads to the pleasure from any form of arts. I feel art is a mean of expression – more specifically the innate expression.
You have vivid creative arts within you, but which particular form fascinates you
Kiran Soni Gupta: Well, I started my work in drawings, landscapes etc. but when I was in Kerala, Tanjore fascinated me a lot and I did lot of work on glass during my stay in South India. I learnt so many things from my surroundings and in paintings also, my immediate surroundings always inspired me. When I was in Sri Ganga Nagar as District Collector and Magistrate, one incident happened. Three (girls) foetus were found in drain. When I was told about this, I was shattered and ordered administrative probe into the matter. The impact was so bitter and devastating onto my mind that girls- adolescent and growing became central theme for my paintings as I was constantly thinking over their situation in community. We are talking about rights to women and girls but first, we have to give them right to birth. I took this incidence to International forums. Basically, I’m involved in creative world for sheer pleasure and to give expression to my feelings, so every form that help me to express my feeling, I’d be fascinated by it.
An activist turned administrator, your creative works belong to contemporary issues,
women, poverty, environment and other sensitive subjects. How could you exist in both the streams
Kiran Soni Gupta: I must say it sharpened my sensitivities as an administrator! It also facilitated me at my works in a number of ways. It is my love and passion for arts and creativity that I perceive things clearly and in the exact means. At the other hand, my inner artist inspires administrator half to do creative, developmental works. So both are complementing each other.
Besides your own creative works, what efforts you are putting into for the betterment
of various arts?
Kiran Soni Gupta: I personally feel that developments in the fields of literature, art and culture are the measures of the overall development of civilizations. Our Harappan and Indus valley civilization date back to thousand years but they are considered as fully developed civilization. It is because of evidences in the form of sculptures, paintings, and inscriptions on stones. I feel there is a need to groove our rural arts and artists. What we have to do is to give them opportunities. Kala Kumbh – 2003 was such an effort to bring them to the contemporary artists and their styles to help them learn more and more. Awareness amongst people for arts is to play a vital role in the prosperity of artists and development of art as well. We have to promote them at every possible stage.
Unlike society, gender biasness is not an issue in art world; womanhood dominates in
all form of creative arts. What do you feel for this contrast?
Kiran Soni Gupta: Simply because women have great demonstrating qualities. They have more emotions and love factor than their counterpart. If someone wants to express parental affection, eternal joy, tenderness, compassion – it will be definitely through women that will make sense. So it is quite natural that they are present in every form of creative arts and dominate in every form.
An ardent art-lover, Mr. Madhukar Gupta is your life partner. How he inspire and
influence you work?
Kiran Soni Gupta: To be very honest, he is my first critic! He has a great sense of humour and a good companion to have with. In fact, his approach is quite creative in all his deeds. Even in our routine interactions - arts, culture, social and moral value remain very often topics. He always encourages me and his critical approach is really praiseworthy. Very few people know that he himself is a class photographer. Being with him means inspiration all the time.
You have been to many places across the country so far, what do you feel for Bikaner?
Kiran Soni Gupta: I’m really impressed by its rich cultural heritage. I feel that the impact of modernization is still less in Bikaner; that’s why the people are very gentle, art loving, caring, peace loving and ever helping. It is the love for arts and respect for the artists in the hearts of local people that AIFACS celebrated its Platinum Jubilee as Kala Kumbh – 2003 at Bikaner.