Sharjah: Twenty Indian artists in the UAE on Friday night came together to pay tributes to Sushma Swaraj, India’s former Minister of External Affairs who passed away in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Hailing from different states in India, the artists took part in a live painting session at Al Nahda Park in Sharjah and created a mammoth portrait of Swaraj.
Titled ‘Sushma Swaraj — A leader who was just a tweet away’, the portrait also carried images that depicted her support to Indian expats in distress.
The artists used three canvases measuring 120X100cm each for painting different portions of the massive image and combined them after completing the gigantic work in about four hours.
While one canvas was dedicated to a solo image of Swaraj, an Air India flight and the Indian tricolour formed the background for an impressive image of her face with Swaraj’s signature bindi (dot) and sindoor (vermilion) on two other canvases joined together.
On one side, the artwork carried a symbolic image of the evacuation operation of Indians from Yemen. On the other side, it included an abstract painting of the family reunion of Uzma Ahmed, who had alleged that she was forced to marry a Pakistani man and was allowed by the Islamabad High Court to return to India in 2017. Swaraj is seen as hugging Uzma while the latter’s mother and family members look on.
Led by art director Sijin Gopinathan, founder of Thee Artist Network, UAE, the artists who took part in the session included Reji Venjaramoodu, Christina Mekala, Sunil Bindhani, Swapnil Jawale, Amina Shahala, Dona Gilbert, Shrutika Gosavi, Sreedevi Sijin, Rajeev Marath, Sanjay Venugopal, Aneesh Chandra, Vineetha Nithin, Mahalekshmi, Nayana Jayan, Glara Soni, Sinjith Soman and Jane Jayan.
Gift for Consulate
Speaking to Gulf News on Saturday, Gopinathan said the artists wanted to acknowledge the contributions of Swaraj in a befitting manner.
“We believe art is a way of letting the past go ahead and live longer. We see this as a tribute by all Indian expats around the world who salute her with gratitude and love.”
While doing the live painting session, he said the artists also gave the onlookers, especially children, the chance to participate in the event. “They did the painting under our guidance,” said Gopinath.
The artists wish to finetune the final work and gift it to the Indian Consulate in Dubai.