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Art builds cultural bridges

india Updated: May 07, 2011 00:50 IST
Chetna Dua

In an effort to build bridges and extend cultural ties between different countries, 18 artists from India were selected for the Indo-Saudi art exhibition inaugurated at the National Museum, Riyadh on April 30.

Titled 'Reflections-Women in art', the exhibition displays 200 works of 52 women artists from both the countries. Princess Adela bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz inaugurated the exhibition in presence of Sunita Mainee Ahmad, wife of Indian Ambassador Talmiz Ahmad.

The exhibition, organised at the National Museum of Riyadh till May 27, exhibits the works of Indian women from all over the world.

Works of Aditi Garg and Suniyata Khanna from Delhi, Sangeeta Murthy from Gurgaon, Anjali Srinivasan from New York, Anupama Jain from Dubai, Kajoli Khanna from London, Mamta Valrani from Dubai and others were displayed at the exhibition.

Sangeeta Murthy, who went for the inauguration, has come back rich experience and knowledge.

“We were very scared before going there, due to the image of women being suppressed and ill-treated there. But we mustered courage and went ahead,” says Murthy. "I wanted to portray the Indian essence to the outside world and chose to send 'Rhythm of Life' depicting pairs of feet relaxing in a pond with lotus flowers and fishes around from my 'happy feet' series," says the artist from Gurgaon.

Five more works namely, Dancing Feet, Sanguity, Tranquility, Moods and Dreams by Murthy are also on display.

'Dreams' depicting the desire of every young girl to have a home of her own tugs at your heartstrings with its simplicity. Eight paintings of Suniyata Khanna including her special series of on the 'sun' and its various aspects was well appreciated by the princess.

"The series shows the sun's importance according to science, astrology and mythology," says Khanna. Though known for her use of earthy colours, the artist has used brighter hues in her series on the sun because of its association with power and light.

The group, who went shopping to the local markets, malls and restaurants, say that the country is not dangerous or unsafe as people make it out to be. “People on the streets were extremely well mannered and there was no 'eve-teasing' or harassment that we had to encounter. Contrary to their image, the girls in Saudi Arabia are well educated and wear modern clothes inside their campus or home," says a member from the group.