Shobha Broota, a veteran artist who has exhibited extensively in India and abroad, has her work currently on display at the India Art Festival (IAF).
At 79, veteran artist Shobha Broota is as active as any newbie in the industry and she has no plans to slow down. Her work was exhibited at the India Art Festival (IAF), which had returned after a nearly two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. “I’ve been helping people for years and years. I’ve been a teacher in school, college and in my studio. At this time and age I get requests to come and help so wherever I go , they (artists) need inspiration and I help them with that. Also, at any time, if they need my help in their profession or hobby, I give it to them”, a- she told Firstpost and added that this is why these exhibits are also important.
“I think we all need that push and these exhibitions we put on also help others get inspired and that’s why it’s important to show your work as well,” said Broota, who has exhibited extensively in India. and abroad, notably in national galleries in India and Malaysia, and several private collections. She has also participated in residencies in Kuala Lumpur and Perth, among others, and was invited by the Guyanese government to paint the portrait of the country’s former president, Chaddi Jagan.
Speaking about the Indian Art Festival going offline after a two-year hiatus, she said it was an absolutely beautiful time to see the vibe return to galleries and exhibitions. “This year is special because we are coming back after two years of absence. So the energy was in full swing.” India Art Festival has 30 booths showcasing paintings and sculptures, as well as two booths dedicated to individual sculptor artists, with over 150 sculptures on display. More than 100 master artists and 250 well-known and emerging artists have their work exhibited at the festival, which represents a total of 3500 works of art. Several art galleries like Gallery Splash and Art Nouveau in Gurgaon, Gallery Pioneer and Vision Arts in New Delhi, Easel Stories in Noida, Studio3, Rhythm Art in Mumbai and Rabi Art Gallery in Santiniketan, are currently exhibiting works by their master artists. Recalling the days when there was absolutely no work and the world was at a standstill during a pandemic, Shobha Broota says those were very calming days for her as an artist.
“I was lucky not to go into this unhealthy mode except I was going through all these issues knowing my friends and loved ones so it was a fragile thing for me but then I knew that if I continued to do my job it will help me convert the negative to positive so that was the positive so i started to work i really worked very hard at that time and it saved me and saved me helped psychologically,” she said.
As an industry veteran who has seen generations of artists come and go, she said there are definitely big changes in the art industry. People make art to be happy, to understand their expression, and to use their free time to do creative work. Shobha Baroot believes that money is not important. “There are no hard things about it. We all suffered from that time when there was no money for art but there were also other alternatives we could have joined and made money but why did we do art ? That why is answered when you work and work and work and you see that’s what I’m supposed to do, with or without money,” she said. “But yes you can’t throw far from the idea that we don’t need money we all need money and with art especially where we need things to work so we will need money and in the life too we need money so i am not saying money is not important. However, you don’t have to become a slave to it. The idea that we need money should not appeal to you. If you do a good job, the money will come and that’s a by-product of what you do, so that’s what it is.
“If you say you can’t paint because you need the money, there are other alternatives like commercial art that you can do side by side.” She believes that art becomes a profession when you make money and if it doesn’t make you money, you do it as a hobby. “Art is a very serious hobby because it brings us more than money. We receive peace of mind, happiness and satisfaction, so I think of art like that,” said Shobha Baroot, who also trained as a classical Indian singer before studying fine art.
She also has some advice for the younger generation. “I think if they’re not happy, they shouldn’t be in the art business. Only if you love art with all your heart and soul should you be in this profession.”
Nivedita’s work experience includes covering fashion weeks in Milan, Pakistan, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Dubai and award functions like IIFA and TOIFA.