Artist Sangita Datta’s works are part of the “Desi Canvas” exhibition under the theme “Textures”. Hailing from a small village in West Bengal, she is continuing her passion for art and currently works from Kala Dham, Greater Noida.
Ashish: What is the story behind you becoming an artist?
Sangita Dutta: I have been painting since childhood. I belong to a small village in West Bengal. The art teacher in my village taught me how to draw using my imagination. My interest grew from there. Filling up these images with colours was very interesting. At my school level, I started copying different images. My art teacher and my parents encouraged me a lot to continue my passion for art. I did my bachelor’s degrees from the College of Art and Design, Bardhaman, and my master’s from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata in 2013. I worked as a studio artist at Lalit Kala Academy’s regional centre in Kolkata for two years, from 2013 to 2015. In December 2015, I came to Delhi.
A: What inspires you to put your energy into art?
SD: My father is my inspiration. Since childhood, he has been very helpful and encouraging. I work with issues related to the insecurity of women. It is a painful experience, and I paint that pain on my canvas.
A: What materials do you use in your paintings?
SD: Now I use various mediums, from digital print media to multiple layers. I also use sand, soil, pigments and golden leaves. I keep exploring. Unless I explore, how will I get to know new forms? Seeing and portraying something using different mediums is what I am trying to do.
A: Who is/are your favourite artist(s)? And why?
SD: Again it is a difficult question. Frida Kahlo and her story is my favourite. Her paintings are full of pain, love, and life. Arpita Singh, Mithu Sen, Amrita Shergill, Anita Dubey are among a few India artists who keep on inspiring me.
A: As an artist what do you think needs to be done in order to reach out to more people?
SD: I feel like people from all walks of life should be interested in art. We have to find ways to do so. How to generate interest in art is a question we must answer. We should be able to show that art can be a career option. People are so fascinated by film stars. Artists should also get some media coverage, and not just the most famous ones.
A: Is art limited to some classes in India? if so, what are the reasons behind it?
SD: Yes, it is. Art education is not reaching everyone. Most of my friends have done courses in different streams/subjects, and they are not much interested in art. People who are visiting galleries are not necessarily into art appreciation. At times, they look at art as a commodity.
A: How do you see the economics of art in India?
SD: I feel like it is very difficult for young artists to survive and sustain themselves in India. It might change in the coming times. At least I hope so.