The pinnacle of success for every artist’s career is a solo exhibition.
For the talented Afshana Sharmeen, hers came at the tender age of 22 on Thursday, 23 July at the Vinnyasa Premier Art Gallery, Mylapore, Chennai. It was inaugurated by Pradipta K. Mohapatra, Chairman of the Coaching Foundation of India.
Having completed her bachelors in engineering, Sharmeen focused on pursuing art as a profession and started the series last August. Titled “Visual Sensibilities”, the 18 oil-on-canvas paintings and 10 penworks were inspired by the construction of the Chennai Metro Rail project.
She said that although the road diversions due to the constructions irked many people, she was inspired by it. She wanted to immortalise the effort, hoping that future generations would be able to identify the humble origins of the mighty metro.
She added that art for her had grown from being a hobby to a passion and now was her profession.
The exhibition was praised by both the art community and curious visitors as well. Artist Ganapathy Subramaniam admired the variation of colours and the execution of the final product.
Padmapriya, a homemaker, said that collection was excellent considering that it was a first-time exhibition. She added that the art scene had really picked up in Chennai and people were now willing to spend money on unique art.
Commenting further on the growth of the art community in Chennai, Sharmeen’s art teacher, A. V. Ilango, stressed on the need for regular coverage of art in the media. He added that although profiles of artists were published occasionally, there was no move made to explain the history and utility of art.
Ilango founded the Chandra Ilango Visual Art Foundation in memory of his wife Chandra Ilango and has been a mentor to art students since 1973. The foundation conducts workshops and uses art therapy to help children with special needs. It also provides a platform for upcoming artists aged between 18-25, and the exhibitions have been running successfully since the past three years.