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My Art and my Paintings are my way of letting “me” come out… Shobhna Raj Singh

April 2, 2014

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Mine is a typical story of a small city girl who went to a convent all-girls school and who received a conservative and protective growing up. Such a girl often has a number of emotions locked in and the environment sometimes gives it very limited exposure options. Art for me has been my passion all throughout but once again, the mindset of parents and grown-ups in such cities prevent a girl from moving into a formal education into the Art colleges as these institutions tend to have a free-thinking format and in some ways contradicts the basic purpose of protective schooling and upbringing. It is possible that such restrictive education can lead to a rebellious attitude in some while in others it may lead to an acceptance “as societal norms”.

However, the life of an Indian girl from small-town has one major opportunity for change and that happens with the wedding into another household. I got married into one that had both my mother in-law and my sister in-law who had received education that was differently formatted and both had the desired exposure and encouragements. I also moved to Kolkata which was far larger and with greater exposure. My spouse was not keen that I worked in an employment but was open to me doing work for our household publishing business or even take up voluntary or social work options. I did try my hand at few things but all throughout they did not seem to be what I wanted to do. They were work but not something that rhymed with me.

Then ART happened…

As my two lovely kids (Son is now 16 and Daughter is 12) began to grow up and as they moved to residential/boarding school in Dehradun, I had more free time and I began exploring my ART interests. I took up the canvas again and with the encouragement of my sister in-law and also my rest of the family especially my children who wanted to see me engage myself, I joined short training programs “for artists” to sharp-tune my skills. This was indeed the change that I was looking for. God has his ways of doing things and has the right timing. There was no stopping now and I engrossed myself in the colours of life and for the very first time in my life, I felt that this is what I want to do. I loved it and continue to love it.

Our love affair with Australia has been for years as our my husband’s business (www.globalreach.in) has been working for the Australian Universities and Institutions in the Indian region. We have been Australian Permanent Residents since 2003 but had not taken up the citizenship for some reasons. However in 2010 we decided that we will be spending more time in Australia now and will also move our children to High School here in Australia. Now they are here and I am spending about 10 months of a year in Sydney. This allowed me greater chance to expand my interest and also allowed me to stay at one place for the same.

I was painting but was still UNSURE…

I was unsure as to what will I be doing with the paintings. My paintings that I had done in Kolkata had been exhibited and appreciated. The ones in Sydney were greatly appreciated but I didnot feel like selling them to friends at all and so had gifted them to those who would find an appropriate place for them in their household. This was my way of sharing my love for them. This was my way of thanking them for their role in my life. But then still this was not enough. Some suggested that I should sell them and there are takers. Others especially my husband felt that we should donate them to charity which could sell them and raise money. This would be our way of giving back to the society…

Mission Twisha.

I heard of Twisha’s situation and gradually tried to understand it.The more I learnt of it, I felt convinced that God once again had shown me the way. God wanted me to do my bit for the kindness it has given to me all throughout. It was payback time. I immediately decided that all the paintings that I had done in last two months will be donated to this cause. Twisha’s mother has been thankful and her genuinity resulted in my letting her fix the price and 100% of the sale proceeds go to Twisha’s cause. My costs in canvas, colours and time is sponsored by my husband’s company, Global Reach. It’s our way of raising funds for the cause. May God bless the little child…

What next…

I am a firm believer in God and that it is him who shows us the way… He wanted me to pick up art again. He wanted me to do the paintings. He wanted me to express my love for Twisha. He will show me the way again in future. At this time I will continue to watch how the paintings get picked up in Sydney and if required, I shall make more pieces for Twisha… Once this is done, there will be other charities that I could contribute to. I have a loving family which has been fully supportive and in some ways, enjoys the joys that it bring to me…

Shobhna Raj Singh