S

S2EP77. How she restarted her career & made her mark with paper in the arts w/ Chetnaa, Indian Artist & awardee 2014 glenfiddich art award


A rtist Chetnaa experiments with straight lines and simple geometric shapes, sharing imaginative techniques to create compositions and constructions using just paper, pen and scale.

Chetnaa completed her Master’s degree in Painting from the College of Art in New Delhi. Her geometric abstractions are drawn largely from the landscape and architectures of her city, keen observations of the metropolis translated into an eloquent schematic of lines and markers. Initiated as symmetrical arrangements, Chetnaa’s work reveals the need to deconstruct the order she had once sought, so as to build a new geometrical logic that feeds her minimalist aesthetic. She was recently a part of the first Indian Ceramics Trienale, collaborative project at JKK, Jaipur, 2018. Her recent shows include Of Paper at Gallery Art Motif (New Delhi), Condition Reports curated by Ranjit Hoskote at Art District XIII (New Delhi) and Everything is Black & White at Palette Art Gallery (New Delhi) to name a few.

Follow Chetnaa:

https://www.instagram.com/chetnaa_art/

Charuka Arora, Founder of Arts To Hearts Project

https://www.instagram.com/charukaarora/

www.charukaarora.com

Arts To Hearts Project

https://artstoheartsproject.com/

www.instagram.com/artstoheartsproject/

AUTOMATED TRANSCRIPTS

00:01.83
charukaarora
Hey, you guys welcome back to the arts 2 hard spot sauce. This is your host charka and welcome back to another episode of season 2 anyone who’s joining us for the first time I want to say a big thank you for joining us for today’s episode and if you’re a regular listener a big Thank you. Today I have someone very special like any other guests I’ve had so far but she’s special because again like I said in all these episodes I’m trying to bring more and more artists from India Southeast Asia and you know build this gap and bridge this cabin within this global community and. You know, put these pieces together. So I’m so excited to have someone I’ve met early in my journey in India and I’ve had the pleasure to have her here on the podcast. So I have chikna. She’s ah she’s an artist based out of Delhi. She’s shown her work all around the world in India and has won several awards out of which glenford bridge is one of the most prestigious awards that happen in India and um tisna has been um, an award for that I don’t want to give a. Too much and I’m going to just invite her welcome to the podcast is now I know.

01:15.19
chetnaa
Yeah. Thank you so much Yahuka It’s my pleasure to be on board for such a wonderful project that you’re doing and I think it’s the most fantastic name also that you could choose Arts too hard right? That is what we are doing every day we want our art to touch. Someone’s heart like say that charles.

01:33.81
charukaarora
Right? Exactly I think it’s also like like my heart is in the arts like like why why we also make and while people also like when they see us on our work still literally seeing our heart.

01:39.90
chetnaa
So yeah, I’m so excited to be here. Yeah. Right.

01:52.44
chetnaa
Absolutely absolutely and thank you so much for that Wonderful instruction I was having goose bums by you ah talking about me but it feels good.

01:53.90
charukaarora
There’s there’s nothing in between.

02:02.29
charukaarora
It it was It was quite thin size and short I wanted you to introduces yourself so before we get into it. Why don’t you tell us everything that you’ve been after who you are a lot of people are joining from all around the world I’m sure they would love to know who you are what you do. And just introduce yourself.

02:23.99
chetnaa
Okay, ah, fine here I go I’m chaitna I’m an artist based out of New Delhi india I’ve been born and brought up in new delhi itself and my journey for art or with art. Started very late in fact in my life I am a commerce student who went on to do my graduation as well and I worked in a business intelligence firm which will the parents.

02:50.35
charukaarora
Oh goodness.

02:54.21
chetnaa
Yeah, the parent company was in the us and they had a office in India I worked with them for almost 3 three and a half years and we were handling clients like Dupon Runbaxi etc and suddenly one day I decided.

03:00.81
charukaarora
Wow.

03:10.53
chetnaa
Okay, this is not my cup of tea. Okay, this is not happening 9 to five ne and I always had an inclination towards art I come from a family of publishers. My grandfather started a publishing firm back in those days.

03:14.11
charukaarora
Man.

03:24.98
charukaarora
Allows.

03:29.92
chetnaa
And my dad who’s also into publishing books and ah yeah, so my ah we and me used to specialize in matheologicalal geographical books related to India um, so and.

03:32.27
charukaarora
Wow I didn’t know that.

03:45.77
charukaarora
Wows.

03:47.95
chetnaa
Most surprisingly none no far nobody in our family had any connection to art. Maybe subconsciously books was the way. Um, that Tora you know we had some ah rooting for art. Ah, um, there’s there’s no artist in my family so far.

04:03.76
charukaarora
So.

04:07.54
chetnaa
Both me and my brother. In fact, my brother is a science student and he went on to work in advertising out of the blue ad today he is heading one of Iga’s leading advertising companies and so yeah, we both be both to be unconventional. Je. Ah, back in those days you know and it was I was very happy I did that for myself I listened to my heart. So and I decided that my heart wants to be in art and took steps towards it I um.

04:33.67
charukaarora
Of god.

04:46.26
chetnaa
So obviously in India and if you’re in Delhi you want to apply to college of art. That’s your aim right? It’s either college of art or tamya the top colleges in Delhi. So I did that I underwent training for the entrance for my bachelors once again and get through college of part I was very disheartened.

04:51.70
charukaarora
Yeah.

05:04.24
charukaarora
By what what age were you by then I’m okay, it has nothing to do with it. But I’m just asking this because a lot of people feel. They’re too late.

05:05.73
chetnaa
Ah, but I didn’t give up. Yeah, yeah. I agree. So I think I was in my mid 20 s around that time. So since I’d already done one part of like so I’ve done 10 plus 2 plus 3 then work for 3 years

05:18.13
charukaarora
Yeah, okay. Yeah, see I.

05:29.28
chetnaa
And then did plus 4 for bachelors and plus two for masters. So and ah and like after the 3 years of my working didn’t get through college of art. The first time I studied the game.

05:31.91
charukaarora
Well my goodness or my good move.

05:47.41
chetnaa
Second year I applied again I didn’t get through again and then that time amity was just opening up a fine art institute in Noida that is a up in India and I thought okay, why not let me. Give it give it a short you know, apply there I got through aity ah I was doing my foundation I was still not convinced that this is where I want to be I applied again to all god reject him 3 times got rejected again.

06:16.63
charukaarora
So basically 3 times third also.

06:21.91
chetnaa
Okay, and then I gave up. Yeah I don’t know why how? and but but that made me stronger. Yes, that made me stronger that fine college of apartment accept me I will I will do my best.

06:26.48
charukaarora
But there’s more to it.

06:37.52
charukaarora
Yeah.

06:39.66
chetnaa
And the opportunity and the resources that I’m going to receive at amity I’ll make the best of it and I ended up topping my four-year program as well and then I was already in like I was 30 something and.

06:43.71
charukaarora
Yes, ah man.

06:58.63
chetnaa
Got over my bachelors and I decided I want to do masters as well and so someone told me why don’t you apply for college. Ah, ah so I been listen and rejected me 3 times and ammiti is a private university for all the listeners in India. And college your part is a Governmentman University so anyways you’re look down upon that you’re coming from a private union applying to a governmentment union and so I said okay I don’t think I stand a chance because obviously they would want to prefer their own students for their masters because there’s only 10 seats. Ah, for your masters in painting in college of art and out of which ah 4 are reserved for ah the various categories in India and only 6 are for general candidates. So I was like who am I kidding? Okay I’ve been rejected twice.

07:51.46
charukaarora
You live.

07:55.20
chetnaa
And here there are only 6 seats for which about 3 to 400 students from all over India apply and they’re coming from all government unions. Okay like I am like I I don’t want to be this specimen again. But I went with it.

08:02.34
charukaarora
Yeah.

08:10.93
chetnaa
I Literally killed it in my interview like my lot of senior artists were there and I think they were also looking down upon me because here is this young girl coming from Am and she thinks you know she can get through.

08:12.20
charukaarora
Um, this.

08:26.26
chetnaa
But I changed the equation and I and they were asking me questions about history and all and I’m I’m very passionate about history of art and and I gave them a good this thing you know like okay you want to ask history bring it on. Okay at.

08:33.72
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

08:43.90
chetnaa
And they tried the best you know to pull me down but I didn’t give up. Okay I knew okay somewhere in my mind or in my heart I knew it. It’s not going to happen I Went with that objective. It’s not going to happen.

08:47.46
charukaarora
Yeah.

08:53.94
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah.

08:58.53
chetnaa
But I didn’t um, better or I didn’t unfalter it I instead I gave a very flying interview and everything I know and and I just walk away with no hopes. Okay. And then the result they came and I went with a friend of mine and I’m like I’m not going in to check the result I’m sure the name’s not going to be there so he went in and I was I was third on the list. Okay, so and even the interview like the admission is in ranking. I was told on the list and I was like really like okay and but.

09:34.81
charukaarora
You so it it also it’s like um, you applied for 3 times and then you came third on the list. Did you tell them at the interview that you applied for her 3 times you did.

09:41.69
chetnaa
yeah yeah I did I did I did at. In fact, you know like third time when I applied when I was studying inamity. We had a lot of professors coming in from college of art who were teaching us. And 1 of the professors was very fond of me because I was very hard working you know. Also the reason because I’ve already done one set of graduation and has earned my money I knew the value of money and for me to go back to studying again and my parents supporting me was a big big deal for me, you know.

10:05.83
charukaarora
Yeah.

10:15.88
charukaarora
Big. Yeah.

10:18.85
chetnaa
Yeah, like and and and that time also tried doing a lot of part-time jobs to support my material meansal I was giving tutions in English I and also didn’t have a vehicle to go that far I was takingging buses.

10:23.80
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

10:36.69
chetnaa
And I’ve I’ve done a lot of hard work in my middle age. So I wouldn’t say younger age.

10:40.29
charukaarora
Yeah I do have questions on this now, especially very particular with India I know I’m sure by the time you grew up even by the time I grew up people. Always you know we grew up with the mindset that okay. You know you do you graduation. This is it. This is where like you know the idea of a wasted degree like oh my god are you going to like I remember like when I thought I so I did history I I did honors in history and I I didn’t have now I have a lot of artist interests that I didn’t have at all in the beginning. But.

11:01.65
chetnaa
Um, and think.

11:16.39
charukaarora
And I thought oh my god what a waste of like I don’t know how I wentnd there but whatever happened, but this whole guilt of oh my god am I going to waste like now I have already invested like 3 years of my life now how how can you waste your degree of mind this is something you need to keep doing and keep following. And at the time that you were doing it I’m I’m sure like and not only that you not really did that degree. You did your post ad then you also had your job and then you were not going for something that would be like you know society approve parents approved. Everybody’s approved and like you know oh wow. Yeah, this is great.

11:47.29
chetnaa
I I have.

11:54.40
charukaarora
Like this is extreme like full. How was your situation then how did your parents react to it your family like didn’t you didn’t say think you’ve gone mad like what is happening.

11:54.94
chetnaa
And.

12:00.41
chetnaa
I I am want thing jaruka what you know of me in today’s time I am am a very changed person from what I was in my younger days.

12:10.29
charukaarora
Here is. Um, really.

12:17.50
chetnaa
I was a kind of a rebel. Okay I was a big time rebel in my family and my parents had to give in for anything and everything I would ask them for not like I had high-end demands or something.

12:29.30
charukaarora
Yeah.

12:33.00
chetnaa
But I was very hellbin and I was I was very dead of mind you know and after working and being independent for 3 years I went up to my parents and I said okay I don’t think that this is what I want to do with my life I want to study again. So. Ah, you? okay with it and I here am I I want to study art and I don’t even know if I have a few children it you know because it’s ah we are. We are not someone we know after the end of a month we are getting this much amount every day we are. We are windfall people right? so.

13:03.67
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah.

13:10.41
chetnaa
So my parents had didn’t have much of an understanding up for us. Ah, but also maybe the fact that my brother was in advertising kind of he it for me. Okay, they knew this and very different and ah yeah.

13:20.33
charukaarora
But still I mean fine art and advertising is still the practical side of being a creative like you still know how you can make money if anything else but especially in India I mean by that time did you like did your family or like you.

13:29.66
chetnaa
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

13:39.17
charukaarora
Know like I didn’t know like artists artists till I was like really like even very long before like not too long before I decided I wanted to be in the arts or be an artist while you were taking this decision like did you have influence someone you’ve looked up to who’s like you know who.

13:47.87
chetnaa
And.

13:58.43
charukaarora
Who maybe just gave you a thought that yes this was possible. This was practical. Yeah, this is possible.

14:04.41
chetnaa
Actually I did like it was maybe I started going for exhibitions like atruveny and Malitkala I saw a couple of those exhibitions and I really got inspired. Okay like. To be able to paint I was dabbling with color like while I was still doing my graduation now you know hobby classes and everything and I yes, i.

14:26.67
charukaarora
Yeah, girls do that in India.

14:33.44
chetnaa
Wanted to take it up most seriously I didn’t want to be that cliched thing you know Hobby artist or something like that. So this has always been my thing you know other if I want to do something I want to do it the right way I’ll follow the abcd of that path. So like if I wanted to do finance.

14:45.73
charukaarora
Yeah.

14:53.10
chetnaa
Okay I knew I have to do a bachelor’s in finance I wanted to do a master so that is like even when I’m making a work for that matter like I’m a very dedicated. Okay, this is a process I’ll follow it. Yes, like okay b yeah so that way I Very this thing but I would say my.

15:03.70
charukaarora
Charles says Devin.

15:11.98
chetnaa
Parents. Ah, at first they were a little taken aback. Okay, you want to stop earning and get back to being dependent. That’s a big step but are you sure you want to do this so I was like guess I’m pretty sure so then I okay, we support you I’m in dutch wood I think my parents were very understanding my dad.

15:19.13
charukaarora
Yeah.

15:28.57
charukaarora
Now is yeah who.

15:30.76
chetnaa
To the college. He saw the college and it’s like you know, taking your middle age. Came back to college. Yeah so ah, Yani like. Were very kind I think I owe it a lot to them as well that they supported me when I needed it the most and here I am today on your podcast. So but yeah, so credit goes to them. Definitely they they supported me and and I tried to.

15:46.88
charukaarora
Um, yeah, fit the fix.

15:59.29
chetnaa
Executions while I was doing my bachelors in finance art I would every almost thr in a week I would do english tus because 1 of my professors inamity was a korian so um I would speak.

16:00.60
charukaarora
Is one.

16:11.85
charukaarora
Were you teaching your own professor.

16:16.13
chetnaa
Know his so his business colleagues who were in from Korea his but actually his wife business colleagues. So because I would all this crib. Okay, you know like I don’t have money to buy this. He’s like okay, you’re good with english I have people you can teach them english charge them money their korea okay like.

16:17.48
charukaarora
Um, so glad.

16:35.36
charukaarora
Ah, so you you found a revenue was the revenue stream also value works but okay, tell me something why this like let’s say first. Let’s all the talk about what what happens? Sorry what happened like.

16:35.80
chetnaa
Ah, and so that I Yes, yes yes yeah I was lucky enough.

16:54.72
charukaarora
You were 3 years into your job and everything and then you decided one day I’m sure it wasn’t one day I’m sure it was period. The one days that brought you there but do you remember can you recall like something that really triggered that for you canine you know.

17:01.86
chetnaa
Um, took a while. Yeah yeah.

17:13.63
charukaarora
Yeah, this is it because a lot of times we feel. Okay, this is something that interests you something that you know feel you feel you want to go on a lot of times we don’t persuadee because you know interest keep coming here and there but to leave something that you’re already into. Again, not for a couple of months or something you’ve been into for the past two and a half years was this something that really triggered that action for you.

17:37.78
chetnaa
Okay, ah when I after my 12 in India that’s high school right? I had an inclination towards art like in schools. Also I would take part in a lot of art competitions and all I already had that.

17:44.80
charukaarora
Yeah.

17:57.94
chetnaa
Sapling with me now towards art and coming from a business family and the fact that ah you know you take you normally do take a conventional route towards education either. You go into engineering or you go into commerce or something. I did want to go into art at that time as well. But I did not have enough information I did not have the right kind of guidance. We didn’t have Google back then so we did that internet had just come in I am I’m I’m a millennium we passed out I pass out.

18:22.25
charukaarora
Yeah.

18:36.62
charukaarora
Yeah.

18:35.86
chetnaa
School in the year two thousand so ninety nine two thousand so internet had just come in and we didn’t know how to use it to a benefit but I didn’t get the right guidance I I wanted to go for us. But I didn’t know.

18:53.14
charukaarora
And I think it was always like a big take because we didn’t know the possibilities the possibilities that we have today like these are endless. But at that point I I am sure it was this wasn’t that wide and open.

18:54.22
chetnaa
How to go about it. Yeah absolutely. Yeah yeah, yeah, yeah, wasn’t that you know you wouldn’t in school they were. We hardly had the.

19:13.27
charukaarora
Yeah I didn’t have it I didn’t have it till the time even I was there I remember for the last like 2 years I was always like interested. But I think there was another baggage that came with it because usually what would happen is people who would choose art would not.

19:13.33
chetnaa
Ah, badge for arts right? because nobody took it. Yeah.

19:32.10
charukaarora
It wasn’t considered a choice. It was considered someone who cannot cope up with let’s say science or like this so it was like I didn’t want to like even though with deep down my heart every corner everything and everything I wanted that um a lot of people like I know.

19:32.65
chetnaa
Yeah, can time here.

19:48.60
charukaarora
When we all would discuss like why there’s no Arts arts and on and but when you know the faculty would come in and they would say you know should we introduce this subject like this people wouldn’t turn up because the parents wouldn’t allow or whatever because they didn’t want to be labeled as not good enough because you know.

19:58.19
chetnaa
And yeah, yeah, not good enough. Yeah, that was a general I think misconception back in those days. Um, but yeah, so didn’t have that kind of in.

20:06.69
charukaarora
Yeah.

20:17.54
chetnaa
Understanding. Didn’t have that kind of an exposure. But finally when I started working I really like I got tired of it I was like okay this is not happening I was traveling to metros in all bombay Calgada park.

20:30.90
charukaarora
What was your what was your job role there.

20:36.60
chetnaa
So we were essentially a business intelligence firm ah something close to market research also like you know we would do projects for company like Dupont or let’s say or renbaxi and so on the basis of that I would do I was your consultant like i. Started off as a research associated with it three months I was promoted to a consultant because my md thought that I was good enough like any other mba because most of the other consultants and senior consultants were mbas from good colleges and. He’s like you’re as good as any one of them and and after 3 years of working I was due to go to the us for like a six month training on the house to the parent company and just when I was approaching I quit the company but um. So I we would I would do research on market or just take you know like brand infringement if that that there’s something like brand infringement brand recognition. So these are the kind of projects that we were doing basically so.

21:33.13
charukaarora
Now. Okay.

21:42.48
charukaarora
Okay, so when you decided Okay, this is what you didn’t the thought of like you could have also like not maybe gone back to school again did that occur to you? What made you go back to school again and do it the traditional way of you know. Doing all of that all over again.

22:03.80
chetnaa
Like I said I’m I’m very meticulous and I like to follow the process. So I like and initially also said didn’t want it to be labeled as a hobby artist or you know so and I feel going to a college. It may.

22:06.56
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

22:22.12
chetnaa
I mean for someone like it’s not necessary but for for each your own right for me I wanted to start from the basics you know, like like how we learn a language we first learn alphabets and all so I wanted to start from the basic and then.

22:27.19
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah.

22:40.98
charukaarora
Moving.

22:40.96
chetnaa
Go higher with it and I think it really helps me. It shaped me as a person it shaped me as an artist and or like everything combined aesthetics history and then of course the foundation and then how you go on to choose your views etc I think that entire process.

23:00.66
charukaarora
Yeah.

23:00.52
chetnaa
Has really shaped me Well I’m very happy I did that you know and I just didn’t take it in my own hand but again to each its own to each its own Absolutely to yeah.

23:05.75
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, Okay, then what happened when you decided you did your? um, let’s also talk about Ah how was your you said your art school experience is we’ve also discussed a lot of hard school experience every once again, everyone’s had. Very different. A lot of people on the podcast have said they’d rather had prefer not to go to a school and then find their way without influences and you know a lot of things did you have like any art school um stories that you want to say like share.

23:29.49
chetnaa
That yeah.

23:43.77
charukaarora
How is that for you in short.

23:44.20
chetnaa
So when I was doing my bachelors we were the first badge for amity. Okay, for 5 Not yeah so we were like the guinea pigs. Actually you know like and we had massive teething issues. Okay massive is the word.

23:48.34
charukaarora
We are eating.

24:01.91
chetnaa
But thankfully our director was she was headstrong. Okay, like a basic thing like nude study because art that inamity art section was one of the departments amongst engineering and other biotech and all these other departments.

24:07.62
charukaarora
You know.

24:16.22
charukaarora
Yeah.

24:19.83
chetnaa
Now if we were to do a new study in our college in that department became a big deal because one we have respect the model Second you cannot stop people from seeing what you are doing right.

24:23.86
charukaarora
Yeah.

24:30.43
charukaarora
Um.

24:34.51
chetnaa
So that became like that was one of the biggest issues we faced initially because drawing is very important of human figure drawing is super important and then we had to write letters to our chairman that you know it’s an art colors. We need to do this.

24:42.26
charukaarora
Meta.

24:53.52
charukaarora
Um, the class were prevented in. You must walk I mean you’ve left like look at the things that you’ve left you wanted to make sure that.

24:53.63
chetnaa
We went back and forth I was ah what do you say like all the time I was something I was always complaining because yeah I like it yeah app.

25:10.30
charukaarora
Listen you do all of this later. Let me take whatever I meant to be.

25:12.15
chetnaa
Yeah, yeah, so my director by the end of it got super fed up of me and she’s like if things are not okay, this one’s going to come and complain again and I think by the third year whoever used to come to teachers. Let’s say a visiting faculty or someone the first thing that person would ask when that person would enter the class who stays now I would stand up and I’m like is everything okay man and then she would yeah.

25:39.26
charukaarora
Use it.

25:43.78
chetnaa
And just so happened some of my visiting faculties were almost my age. So so and and we became good friends by the end of it and.

25:46.34
charukaarora
Um.

25:52.54
charukaarora
So you were like in the class you were with the students after the class you were with the faculty.

25:57.96
chetnaa
Yes, so so I did I like once I asked one of them that you know why does everybody come in the class and ask for me. They’re like because the director wants us that you better be good. Otherwise she’ll come and complain. So I don’t want that. But.

26:14.38
charukaarora
So they were making you made it sure they take good care of you. That’s that’s such a good job. So yeah, no, you all.

26:17.67
chetnaa
I was a rebel roer. Maybe yes yeah yeah, no because I was you know my parents were paying for it. It’s hardened money I can’t see it go ways. No dot at all. So I mean yeah yeah.

26:32.99
charukaarora
Pay not for other people who were there not only for your tells I’m sure a lot of people who weren’t as vocal or but they they got the benefits out of them. Not only you.

26:37.44
chetnaa
Ah, yeah, absolutely yeah I didn’t realize but they are okay. But yeah, but I have I lost that train of po for me.

26:46.82
charukaarora
Okay, no no, who are you want to say something? Oh just let’s also talk about what happened further because I think one of the biggest things that I have seen and notice especially in India.

26:57.16
chetnaa
And.

27:05.33
charukaarora
Um, not only in India but I know that happens all over the world. People have spoken about it talked about it. The biggest problem that I know I came from a design school and I I figured that problem isn’t only limited to our school but also design schools and a lot more other creative schools because they. Tell you they tell you the tools of being a creative I feel how to be a creative is all we all defined for me. This podcast is a piece of art for me like my creative practice arts too hard is like a very big part of my own creative practice because it’s like it’s it’s like my own art school like.

27:27.10
chetnaa
There.

27:42.30
charukaarora
My contemporary art school I get to build for myself. So like we all find our own ways of what being located means for us. But how to live like a creative how to be on our feet. How to um, what do we do of these skills. How do you make a living out of it where do you go? what door will you knock next? Let’s say ah what happened with you.

28:04.91
chetnaa
You know, um, when I was doing my masters. Ah so college of art. The 1 thing that I really like in almost all colleges in India Art Colleges the annual exhibition. The annual show. Okay, so that was an I hope no we did have them in amity also but that was within the department and here I’m in and college which is dedicated to art only and there is art everywhere. You know so that that was yeah yeah.

28:32.42
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, it’s not just like a subpart This is the whole world.

28:40.41
chetnaa
Yeah, everywhere there are installations you know and I still remember yeah and I still remember we would be up till about 2 a m three m and we are in the college you know, putting up our annualdmal show. That’s the putting up. You know the exhibition that was best. Ah.

28:41.64
charukaarora
Yeah, you they speak the language. So.

28:53.56
charukaarora
Yeah, that will.

28:58.90
chetnaa
And then it’s quite interesting I didn’t know that we had a lot of football in vollajo part from galleries from curators to writers to artists. You know, like the Illumina and all so that was very very interesting for me and like. My careerur Also I a lot of gallies spotted my works A lot of curators spotted my work but nothing much materialized out of it. But it was kind of an affirmation. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, it was was kind of an affirmation that okay.

29:25.59
charukaarora
This There’s just same still fighting of validation where you know that someone seen your world.

29:35.81
chetnaa
What I’m doing is correct. You know? Okay I am making my mark and I’m happy that this is my path and I am I’m doing this and when I was in my second year like for my masters my entire ah drawings i.

29:39.90
charukaarora
Yeah.

29:54.60
chetnaa
I don’t know how many drawings that made like they got picked up by a University In India Itm University through a gallery they picked up my entire drawings of my masters for the university and I felt so proud of myself. Okay.

30:06.57
charukaarora
Okay, wow.

30:14.59
chetnaa
This is this is wonderful. But the one lesson that I learned and some very senior artists gave me was don’t let it guru your head ah be stable. You know you sold today doesn’t mean you were right? or you’ll keep selling works. You know like tomorrow also somebody like this.

30:23.90
charukaarora
Yeah.

30:29.63
charukaarora
Yeah.

30:34.47
chetnaa
Government by all your works. No, my job is to create I don’t know if they’re going to sell or not but post that um I would did shows like group shows with fellow artists from college only we paid for it. We did every paying promotion like and. And those were quite interesting. Met a lot of interesting people there and and while I was doing my masters when I was part of another ngo residency color action memorial trust it’s run by a senior artist in India she’s a printmaker.

31:03.76
charukaarora
Yeah.

31:10.50
chetnaa
And got attached to the trust and it’s now been almost more than a decade that I’ve been attached to the trust and I manage a lot of things for the trust and that also helped me and from there not from there. But in general I learn that you have to network.

31:14.80
charukaarora
Yeah.

31:25.34
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

31:27.47
chetnaa
And you have to build your contacts. You don’t know if they’re going to come in use or not because the art world is quite that way is very quite secretive and protective and everything but I learned the importance of networking I.

31:38.71
charukaarora
Yeah.

31:47.46
chetnaa
Learn the importance of being there. Ah you know I wanted like my works being seen and I did that for myself like did cold calls at galleries cold emails to galleries that met them.

31:53.83
charukaarora
Yeah.

32:05.18
chetnaa
Their email Id you said in my world Sometimes there was a response sometimes there wasn’t any but that didn’t it owe me like or that didn’t dishearten me I continued like so this is something that I always say that keep working.

32:19.61
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah, absolutely.

32:21.62
chetnaa
I Mean if something has to come your way. It’ll come. You know like I’d be be really proud of what you do, There was a time when I was not doing anything I was just making works like I didn’t care if I have a show or not but I think God has been really kind and I’ve been.

32:40.50
charukaarora
Um, amazing me? Yeah, absolutely for sure. Let’s talk about one of the highlights I think off your room.

32:39.59
chetnaa
Have done some good shows and yeah, but it’s it’s a tough a tough tragic tree tough part you know, ah artists all over would say the same. Yeah yeah.

32:59.83
charukaarora
Achievements which was at least in the beginning of your career which was the glenfordd award. Do you want to share. So basically anyone who’s listening this is like I didn’t even know about this ah award before I mean um I entered into the arts in India.

33:01.58
chetnaa
I mean.

33:19.25
charukaarora
But when I did I was like you know I I hope this is what this is like something really um, like people were aspiring and all of those things and then I um then I got to know about you and then that that you’d want it and like it’s It’s quite a big deal.

33:37.45
chetnaa
Yeah.

33:38.61
charukaarora
Like ah do you want to talk about how that happened the journey before and how you got through and then after let’s go 3 phases.

33:43.39
chetnaa
Same. Okay, so before the award I had done my post grad I was working from my house only. Um and I would at that time I was living in Noida. And and while I was still doing my pros cardd I did a course from national museum in art history and artists headtic et etc. They have a short term course at national museum I just that so I met a principal of a school there and she’s like why I would’ you come and teach at my school.

34:13.82
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

34:24.10
chetnaa
And I’m like I don’t want to teach I Want to work like make works you know and teach is not by a she’s like no, you have to come. It’s an All-g girlss schools. We are in Gahajaba which is like further ahead of ah yeah so I told her very politely listen that’s not going to happen I am not coming that far.

34:25.80
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

34:32.85
charukaarora
Or pull the pipe.

34:42.50
charukaarora
So.

34:43.59
chetnaa
Okay, she is like I don’t know what she saw in me charlo car. She is like I will send a car with a driver to like you up bring you to the school spend as much time as you want and then you can go The driver will drop you back. Who does that.

34:58.86
charukaarora
Um.

35:00.69
chetnaa
I Mean which school does that for you Add that to for an art feature. Okay, which is like the most neglected bit. Okay I was like okay she is so convinced with me I don’t know what she has seen and me let me give it a shot.

35:03.38
charukaarora
Um, 66 yeah

35:15.72
chetnaa
Okay, she was a dynamic principal I’ll give that to her she wanted to change the opinion of an all-girs school in Gajabad um, she wanted to create something unique. You know and I was very proud to be a part of her vision. I was not going and teaching art there I was teaching. Okay, she would call me ah like you know the let’s say if I was dealing with students in fifth sixth or seventh grade or maybe higher grades the teachers would call me today. We are doing. Let’s say indian temples or we’re doing some.

35:49.35
charukaarora
Okay.

35:53.00
chetnaa
Temples from South India do you think you can mix art with history and create a session around that it was a very ib kind of a thing. Yeah, not a cbsc was parallel to international standards. Ah.

35:58.94
charukaarora
Um, okay, wow. Yeah yeah.

36:10.11
chetnaa
First of all I was okay, what are they expecting me to do but I found that uniquely challenging. You know I was like you that is challenging me I am not a regular art teacher where I’m asking the kids to draw a mountain with the sun at the tree. So I got very excited I like this challenge.

36:16.19
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah, yeah.

36:29.70
charukaarora
Yeah, okay.

36:29.87
chetnaa
So I was doing this in that school. So every time the students were doing something interesting in History. You know so I was called I wasn’t going there every day I would go let’s say twice or twice in a week for 4 hours each time. And we would do unique exercises whereby they were learning about the temple along with creating that bit that and the art element because Indian temples are all about art right? They are heavily orated Estate. So.

36:54.19
charukaarora
Above it are talking type 2 Yeah.

37:02.46
chetnaa
That was one of one One example so I did that for that school and and I think post that have not work because I don’t think I can get this freedom in any other place I told the principal you you’ve spoiled me for life I you know you like a VIPr teacher who getting paid that job.

37:12.17
charukaarora
Anything. Yeah.

37:21.77
chetnaa
And who’s doing what she wants to do not what you want me to do you know? So so and that’s very visionary very dynamic person I must say and so that kind of you know so going to that kind of aided me I had monitory freedom because of that.

37:23.17
charukaarora
1 me do yeah slide vision videos are.

37:37.98
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah, yeah.

37:40.85
chetnaa
Right? after college which is very important and that that helped me make more works and be more happier in this sense like I didn’t have to worry about selling the works to make money to work for the so now I think about it I never realized it back then but they are so.

37:50.96
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

37:59.82
chetnaa
That kept me afloed for the longest time and continued to work as I think I was annoyed of for 13 years but I did that for 7 years I did to the prince.

38:01.76
charukaarora
How long did you do that.

38:12.62
charukaarora
Wow, That’s a good time.

38:16.42
chetnaa
Yeah, she would call me what are you doing tomorrow. Nothing ok come. We have something planned for. Ah yeah, like that’s how she would call me like um, something and so yeah, that was that and then in fact, one of the art teachers.

38:18.96
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

38:34.91
chetnaa
Ah, who was teaching there. He told me about this Glen Finic award Even I hadn’t heard Carro cut We we are in the same board. Yeah, ah yeah, yeah, yeah.

38:37.85
charukaarora
So sir I’m not alone because a lot of things in India I still didn’t know I didn’t know then I would say I still don’t know a lot about because I just I have very different opinions of approaching things and I’m like low and steady. But I’ll take what I like.

38:53.40
chetnaa
Yeah, yeah, so he was one of the final list of those awards and yeah and I think he was I think this first or the second runner up Also so he said why don’t you apply for that.

38:59.46
charukaarora
Of that. So.

39:10.17
chetnaa
Was like I never heard of afraid it sounds. Um, is it. Okay, he’s like listen to apply for it I like okay I applied for that I and I think each year they get about five hundred to six hundred entries and I got a call from the gallery. So there are about 10 people on the jury panel. So each one of them is then the shortlisted. Let’s say r of 50600 they must be doing the first shuffling out of the entries. They don’t think are good and then each one of them votes.

39:32.90
charukaarora
Yeah.

39:45.88
chetnaa
Let’s say they’re selected hundred candidates. So ah from those hundred they pick up the top pi or something so I got a call from the gallery that you’re one of the top 5 people who have been selected for the ah award. No and then then asking me. Do you have a passport and i.

39:55.48
charukaarora
So did you believe it? then.

40:04.58
chetnaa
Like have I won the award they like no we have to this is the criteria like we have to know if a valid passport or not yeah Saturday yeah, of course I have a passport. So okay, so here is you selected the exhibition that time.

40:08.35
charukaarora
If you have a passport.

40:20.77
chetnaa
Ah, Peter Negi was also on board as one of Julien Peter Nei is a respected ah member of the art field in India he used to run still runs this galary called nature mode which is one of the top Galleys in India right now.

40:31.63
charukaarora
Yes, yes.

40:36.17
chetnaa
So and they had a space and at the Oberoi hotel in Googleao and the exhibition of the top 5 selected artists happened at nature moat in the obero at the oberoy. So at when gave my work.

40:40.70
charukaarora
Okay.

40:53.14
chetnaa
And so the interview date was selected and five days before that ten days before my interview date I got a call from Lalizkala that is a government organization in India for arts and culture I was selected for some camp in.

41:03.40
charukaarora
Yeah.

41:10.98
chetnaa
Man Ali that’s in the hills and I’m like okay I’m like thinking I have my interview and laliskala a and hill the government thing calling me and I I wait for that and in the yeah and no, no, no.

41:14.16
charukaarora
Um, where I go to.

41:21.67
charukaarora
You went to an ali you left the interview.

41:27.92
chetnaa
Child and the interview was like after so the dates timefullyfully were not lighting. They were just today it was one day apart. So but but they reshuffled the day and they.

41:31.20
charukaarora
Okay, you were not overlapping. Oh thank god.

41:41.48
charukaarora
Oh wow.

41:45.14
chetnaa
Im still at my residency in manalli in some deserted location of manalli. Okay and I get some hills or something and where the networks would Doji So every day during the day I would go to a certain place to. If I’ve received any calls or something and then I saw there were frantic calls from the gallery that okay the interview date has been changed and you have to be here at like 8 a m in the morning in gorbao at the obroi and that was I think this the day before i.

42:18.94
charukaarora
Oh wow.

42:19.20
chetnaa
This call I lost my car like how how I can’t tell you but thankfully I told the organizers that I need to run back I have something really important I hopped on a bus an overnight bus reached delhi at six zero a m went home took a shot drove to bogao I was at obberroi at eight morning i’ like okay and now I’m like super sweety zero I had um I had not prepared and the works are said there are 5 other contestants and they’re like.

42:47.77
charukaarora
I get this the energy.

42:57.60
chetnaa
Full of energy. Yes, we’ll kill it tight and I’m like okay okay, like if that I’m like on my phone I’m reading the pules but I’m very fond of constructivism and minimalism and all I started doing that to myself. Midday I will like okay I don’t think they will ask me what is minimalism or they’ll not ask me about what you meant Green Greenberg road or whatever and I gave it I was like fine I am like just keep your calm. you’ be patient and when I saw the jury I was impatient because I was.

43:19.35
charukaarora
Um.

43:35.91
chetnaa
Peter Nei there was swapen say there was ah Nippinana is India topmos collectors and then we had the editor for harper bazar and and we had 1 of the founding members of Kochi Binale on the jewelry. And we take okay me calm keep cool. Okay, so at the other contestants some were senior in age ah from me and there were most of the works in the selection were very ah ah what do you say um.

44:14.51
charukaarora
Um, yeah, room room.

44:14.29
chetnaa
Ah, they were not abstract they were very ze list. They had a lot of storytelling going on in their works and I was the only artist who had these minimal black and white drawings on the wall which were easily overshadowed by these wonderfully heavily ornated works.

44:28.61
charukaarora
Yeah.

44:34.12
chetnaa
So I was the third person who went in for my interview and the jury. Um, they introduced and they’re like introduces yourselfves and everything and then one of the jury members said so what is the story behind your work and looked at them and like I have no story. It is what it is what you see is what you see what Frank Stella has said I was like I am not trying to tell you a story I’m not trying to make you enter into some etheral world or something these are parts of the journeys that I have taken I have. Eliminated everything that is representative and this is my language which is away from any meaning or away from any reality. You know this is my language and I no one you or me to have any story behind the work. Like it. It’s fine. You don’t that is also perfect. This is what it is and they all laughed I will like shit out what I done okay and they all laughed and they’re like hang god you don’t have a story and you are honest about it I’m like okay like.

45:42.61
charukaarora
Oh.

45:49.19
chetnaa
And um, but as they are there I had a paperwork ah laid paperwork in the jury the daying exhibition and one of the you remember said why is the triangle coming above the circle I was like really and I may be ah.

46:05.18
charukaarora
Um, so.

46:04.40
chetnaa
Like it I have no logic. Why is the Ta coming you know and like that um mean even though I love Kandinsky and he has a lot of logic of how the triangles come in his works because it’s related to spirituality. So I said no I have no no spiritual post also going on in these works. They are very very.

46:10.86
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

46:24.33
chetnaa
Um, what do you say like it’s it’s it’s the thought you know and I’m not processing that thought to have any email. Yeah, so it’s It’s very simple, very clear I do want you to decipher it or something so they they were very excited. You know we are.

46:29.46
charukaarora
Why you doing So yeah.

46:43.73
chetnaa
So glad here is someone who’s actually being honest. He I don’t want to do what do students tell a story fine interview done then the jue went in like they met like after all the interviews were done and I was shit scared because one of the strongest condenors and they kept saying that he.

46:45.22
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

47:03.73
chetnaa
The guys but of the gallery we representators who always coming and telling him Keith you know you’ve done it. You’ve made it like get your bags ready and all I you know? Okay, nothing’s going to happen. yeah yeah I asked so as I look if I now have to wait till the what this things were waited.

47:07.18
charukaarora
Yeah. Um, you let’s you over? Okay, this is this is the 1.

47:22.51
chetnaa
And so we were all standing in the line they announced 1 artist as the second runner up and the artist skill I mean for whom everybody was saying that you opening it. He was the first runner up and then I looked at the balance 3 or far. Okay, who is it going to be like and then. They announcedunce I named Carruga I just stood there like okay then the father person Nas me. Okay, yeah, it’s you ah like no that can’ be a like are you see the ah like you know so sleep alsolthough I hadn’t slept I was like I travel i.

47:44.60
charukaarora
I do.

47:50.27
charukaarora
Um.

47:59.90
chetnaa
So dial and then you hear of I winning this award and it it’s a huge massive deal because amount money is £10000 and along with a three month fully paid residency in Scotland and then a solo show in India with the presenting gallery.

48:07.80
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah. Now. Yeah.

48:18.12
chetnaa
So that was a game to know for me a game changer for my practice and it was It was a beautiful feeling to have won that award. Yeah and and then later one of the Jury members was.

48:26.83
charukaarora
I Still I have good man.

48:36.99
chetnaa
Artist by the name of be mushchi. He became very fond of me and and I had known him but not known him like that. But at one of the parties I met him much later after that even come back to my residency and all bumped into him and he had the most.

48:38.14
charukaarora
So good.

48:43.97
charukaarora
Yeah.

48:54.13
chetnaa
Wonderful things to say about me chahuka. He said we were 10 people we were 10 people in the jury and he has been on the jury for a couple of years for Blenfedic and he said this is the first time there was no argument. There was no discussion.

48:55.15
charukaarora
Oh well.

49:11.71
chetnaa
Out of 10 people 9 voted for you. It wasn’t easy. It was an easy decision that we made and we were very happy and the artist director from glenfordic is also always there during the election.

49:13.28
charukaarora
Um, love easy.

49:25.30
charukaarora
Thing.

49:29.15
chetnaa
And he’s like we felt that your art was universal and if I was to put your art next to someone. Let’s say from Canada or someone from China or something it’ll it’ll hold its own this thing it and itll it will not have a religious or it’ll not have a.

49:30.82
charukaarora
Yeah. Um, yeah, yeah,, let’s do it.

49:48.65
chetnaa
Um, you know belonging to a certain place or something like that we felt it was very universal like there was no discussion. So oh my God I was super proud of myself here. So yeah, yeah.

49:58.57
charukaarora
Rap You should be. You should be. You should you always should be proud of yourself for that or otherwise I’m sure.

50:06.21
chetnaa
You know? but I keep that advice in my head very strong mean it shouldn’t go to my head. Yeah so I’d like to be humble. You know I’m just saying and just like to be humble and to be known like that. So that’s my.

50:16.27
charukaarora
Let’s talk about? Yeah I go ahead and love that love that. Let’s talk about your work. Also now that you’ve also tested upon it. You have a very minimal.

50:25.49
chetnaa
Yes.

50:33.23
charukaarora
Um, language your work like you said I don’t feel like I feel like it’s such a. It’s also how you perceive something. It’s something that holds a lot of space because space is a very abstract idea. It’s not about how much someone takes. It’s how how little it takes but how much impact it can make like and vice versa. But how while you were developing on your side first once I finish this, you just talk a little bit about how your works out what you do, but also I want.

50:54.21
chetnaa
Yes.

51:09.49
charukaarora
How was your experience of building a works style like this because it’s conventionally you know when you’re going into the arts like representative abstract or like you know it’s easier like you know, like again doing anything which is different is always a risk but you also find a calling to it like and then.

51:16.50
chetnaa
So.

51:25.69
chetnaa
Yeah.

51:29.20
charukaarora
Then fitting I hate the word fitting in because I feel like I I would never want like that’s something I mean you know we lose ourselves when we are trying to fit in but also like being yourself and then placing yourself there. You’ve done that can you talk about your journey and experience of making a. Body work like they is speaking of a very specific extremely minimaistic style. Especially I don’t know what how it was for you at that point but India is in general a maximalist country like you know there are representative art or like you know colors. All of that is what is generally conletion of what India is.

51:59.90
chetnaa
You know.

52:08.85
charukaarora
Your work is like extremely opposite to all of those things.

52:11.60
chetnaa
Yeah I I think I will give this to after my bachelors I had almost a year before I could apply for my masters because we don’t get degrees in the same year so you have to wait to receive your dig degree to apply for a further degree. Anyway, So like I had mentioned before also I was very fond of History. So I went back to studying and I studied a lot about ba hound Abstraction expressionism and then of course abstraction and I really got inspired by color field works and all.

52:36.70
charukaarora
Yeah.

52:47.10
chetnaa
I started well while I was waiting to apply for my masters I started making works from my combines of my home studio and I was I started with color field works and like very abstract very minimal works and I felt that you. Why do I need so much representation in my work where I can achieve what I want to achieve which is maybe maybe 3 strokes none that I was I was a miser or something that I didn’t want to use colors or something.

53:13.70
charukaarora
With ah yeah, yeah, but that’s how we’re also foundationed like I think I think one of the biggest barrier is oh if you’re not putting too much effort. Are you even.

53:24.28
chetnaa
Yeah, yeah.

53:28.62
chetnaa
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, so I think this really shaped my practice studying about the artist and the art moments that really inspired me so that 1 year was like.

53:31.51
charukaarora
Putting too much effort like you know things like that.

53:47.38
chetnaa
Ah, good time for me to discover what I want to do and.

53:51.70
charukaarora
Before that were you making anything anything similar to this or you were very different tangent like on a different tangent.

53:57.27
chetnaa
So when you’re doing your bachelors sharuka you are they always ask you to make representative works because that is also the skills that you’re acquiing. Yeah, so my works by the end. No I didn’t.

54:09.43
charukaarora
Ill that you need to but you never bend this way at that point.

54:16.34
chetnaa
My Fourth year my works were ah I wouldn’t say abstract abstract, but my strokes had become very strong. You know while making still life or life study and all like I was not painting like a smooth finish. There were blobs of color like you know like if I’m painting a white teapot and there is light reflecting there is blue color. So the white pepod would never end up being a white pepod. It will be blobs of blue yellow whatever the teapot would be there. But.

54:40.87
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

54:46.47
chetnaa
It would have everything that was being reflected on it. So my works became like that and when I went into my master’s after the 1 year of bread that I had I started working in abstraction I was I and like and I was also spending a lot of time on the road. So I started drawing free handlines I just wanted to explore like how to go about these lines like these electric poles. The signals that are there everywhere on Delhi road or like anywhere in the world. Basically. Seebra crossing the black and white it it because you know what they are because yeah because you’re always standing you know in traffic in India. So um, so you I started observing things around me and that crept into my work.

55:28.70
charukaarora
My phone like.

55:40.50
charukaarora
This was no intentional. You weren’t like.

55:41.11
chetnaa
And we I was very lucky in my master. This was not intentional. Yeah I was drawing lines free hand you know? and anyways so my professor our Masters professor was he was a student of nathrine mamay and um.

55:58.31
charukaarora
I will add. Yeah no, no go no no I’m going to say anyone who doesn’t know Asim Home withy you will find about the artist in the show notes.

55:59.62
chetnaa
He Saw what I’m doing here. Okay, okay, right? Yes, So ah, so he was a student of nat screen and he saw me what I’m doing and. Like why don’t you come? Let’s have a discussion so he was a very different teacher. You know in the sense he would not come and tell you what you are doing what you should or what you should do. It was a very interesting setup I was in you know.

56:23.95
charukaarora
What to do.

56:31.95
chetnaa
At my master’s because that’s the concept of you have your own studio space and your learning or your working ah by yourself on your muse and everything So he said come, let’s talk and he had never asked me to come and let’s talk.

56:34.45
charukaarora
Yeah.

56:46.20
chetnaa
And he handed me books of nareen mamady. He yeahed me books of Zaina harsh me. He handed me books of at Agnes Martin he like go ahead, read these and like so but why he’s like just go read and then come back and then me talk again.

56:50.65
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah.

57:04.24
chetnaa
I took these these were catalogues. It had essays about the artist and oh my God that was an eyeo. No I didn’t realize that lions could actually have such a powerful um a floor or a powerful way of composing them I didn’t know that at all and I mean.

57:09.74
charukaarora
7

57:25.18
charukaarora
Yeah.

57:24.29
chetnaa
It’s all thanks to him that I found my lines you know so everywhere wherever possible I This is the thing that I do always give credit to him and so yeah, he discovered the lines in me and then then I started. Um.

57:33.90
charukaarora
Yeah. Hello.

57:44.25
chetnaa
Formalizing these lines in the sense that earlier I were making them freehand he started using proper pen and a proper scale ruler and started making these lines became controlled then and way more balanced.

57:47.51
charukaarora
Yeah.

58:01.93
chetnaa
And of course I I think in my second year of masters I did about the small works I did about 20300 line drawings out of which some became bigger works but I I didn’t know there were so many possibilities until date I’m always.

58:10.51
charukaarora
No.

58:18.44
chetnaa
That you know looking out for more possibility use here. So and and there was something else that you had asked to talk about after this you know poll I always started sorry.

58:19.91
charukaarora
Exploding lovely.

58:29.21
charukaarora
Ah, no I you but I do have a follow up which is now your work is not only like like you’ve also started then from just drawing lines you’ve explored lines in various forms.

58:36.89
chetnaa
Ah, yeah, yeah.

58:43.78
chetnaa
M.

58:48.92
charukaarora
Like paper folding and a lot of those. Yeah I Remember my follow up question was that how was your weighed now when you went into the industry with the work very different. Um I don’t know I mean you’ll have to tell me what. What was the response of people when um, your work was you know when you were trying to get out there. Um, given that it was very different and very minimal.

59:20.13
chetnaa
First thing everybody would say are you show you from college of art because that is not what comes from college of art. Your works are idly more detailed. Your works are either more representative.

59:33.53
charukaarora
Yeah, represented you.

59:36.75
chetnaa
There’s a lot of storytelling going on in the world. But I’m like yeah well I have a degree to prove if you’d like to check I could that to you. But yes I’m a college of art product and that was one. It was a difficult for me to enter the conventional art Market. Ah. Ah, like even you mentioned that we are a maximalist Nation. You know we like heavily ored be it. Our clothes. Be it our art or even our houses we like them to be like nicely ored and all it was. It was a difficult. Ah.

59:58.54
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

01:00:15.47
charukaarora
Yeah.

01:00:15.53
chetnaa
Entry for me because I was not conventional and I was someone who had already done a lot of other things as well. But ah, but I think.

01:00:25.16
charukaarora
That can be specific.

01:00:30.85
chetnaa
Somewhere like I stuck onto it. Jaluka I believed in it that this is what I want to do as I am not changing. Um what I’m doing I’m not adhering to the market practices or adhering to the market requirements I didn’t do that I stuck to my practice.

01:00:32.35
charukaarora
No.

01:00:43.22
charukaarora
Yeah. Yeah.

01:00:49.60
chetnaa
And it’s been more than a decade now and now I don’t care if you like it if you like it. You don’t you don’t but Muhel it was a bit tough in the beginning but you know once people see that. Okay, they also like you know I think for every artist.

01:00:55.86
charukaarora
Yeah, look at you now.

01:01:07.35
chetnaa
And outsider. Let’s say a collector orogalist or anyone you know I think what they see the most is how Jesuses is the person and what has been the trajectory of the person. So I stuck to my trajectory and I was um, um, very happy I did that and and.

01:01:14.31
charukaarora
Yeah.

01:01:21.90
charukaarora
Love me what needs.

01:01:24.78
chetnaa
Coming back to the question that you were asking about various mediums that I do now. Actually you know all the medians that I’m working in right now I have done them in my masters I am just I’m just going back to them again to Ki I had done so much.

01:01:28.41
charukaarora
Yeah.

01:01:35.85
charukaarora
Um, oh fairly.

01:01:43.95
chetnaa
Like I so in my master’s I did pen and ink line drawings I did thread on paper in my college. Yeah I did chacoal on paper graphite on paper which um I’ve gone back to it last year

01:01:50.31
charukaarora
Yeah, you’ve done that recently.

01:02:01.91
chetnaa
And I was working with maps in my college. Ah and that has become that has always been a part of my works throughout these? yeah and I was I just before my final ah I had started layering paper.

01:02:08.51
charukaarora
Part of your work.

01:02:20.79
chetnaa
Ah, white on white I had seen works of Ben Nicholson he’s an english artist and I really got inspired and also because I was the shift was happening towards minimalism the like less is more and how beautifully. Just living white on white and those shadows you know I think they really inspired me so that that initiation had happened in my masters already and after that I got interested with working with light. Also I’ve done a couple of installations with lasers.

01:02:45.30
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

01:02:54.16
charukaarora
Yeah, no.

01:02:57.54
chetnaa
Laser lights Also so and I think I was way more um, active and way more of what do you say? Um, um, experimental in my college at what I am now. But.

01:03:10.35
charukaarora
We always find ourselves like back to who we I think um I don’t I can’t remember I don’t know where I did this but like you know life is not about building ourselves. It’s also about.

01:03:16.61
chetnaa
Here.

01:03:28.50
charukaarora
Discovering who we are actually so a lot of it’s also like unlearning a lot of things that we learn on the way and then we have to learn unlearn them and then it’s like to went through 2 steps forward 4 steps backward again forward backward backward forward. So it’s like it’s like a map that we’re making dots.

01:03:27.62
chetnaa
And yeah, and.

01:03:38.18
chetnaa
Yeah, yeah, right? Sorry yeah, and yeah, and that I’m big here taking.

01:03:46.54
charukaarora
That we’re all all connecting for ourselves to make a line amazing one year one one hour and I can’t believe we’ve already done that I could ask you so many more questions but I know that we’re on short on time. So thank you so much.

01:03:57.69
chetnaa
I know.

01:04:06.15
charukaarora
I Am so glad we spoke So about so many things I have so many more questions but probably for the next time. Yes, yes, we were serious but I can’t let you go without the rapid fire. So are you ready.

01:04:09.90
chetnaa
Maybe we’ll do a part 2 Ah.

01:04:20.62
chetnaa
Yeah, yes, I’m ready come on down without bring it on.

01:04:23.68
charukaarora
You? Okay, so you have to be quick. It has to be 1 word. There’s no right and wrong just give me whatever comes to your mind. Okay, 1 2 3 have we go 1 thing you want to convey through your work in the arts.

01:04:30.61
chetnaa
Okay I hope my mind is shopping off. Yeah so.

01:04:42.47
chetnaa
Beef.

01:04:44.33
charukaarora
What’s that 1 word that describes you the best if you could have a studio anywhere in the world where would it be.

01:04:45.72
chetnaa
Simple.

01:04:54.10
chetnaa
Doesn’t matter as long as I have a studio.

01:04:57.52
charukaarora
Your biggest source of inspiration.

01:05:03.28
chetnaa
And that’s a tough one. My biggest source of inspiration I think it’s little things around me. It could be a bird having water. It could be. It could be my plants that sometimes they refuse to grow but they grow.

01:05:12.60
charukaarora
And.

01:05:20.94
chetnaa
Ah, this is every day I find a new inspiration so it’s very difficult to point on 1 thing. Yeah.

01:05:23.34
charukaarora
Love me who’s your favorite woman artist. Yeah, absolutely yeah I knew these we were coming. Okay.

01:05:29.29
chetnaa
Can I name 3 the ones that I didn na 3 normadies arena harsh me Agnes Martin my 3 women artist my worst at this you you.

01:05:43.14
charukaarora
Who’s your boto person when you’re in trouble or in need of advice.

01:05:45.41
chetnaa
Um, um, ah she was earlier. Ah we met on a professional this thing she was my curator for the longest time and then she became a friend and now she’s my guru person Kaneka aan. Um.

01:05:57.98
charukaarora
Okay.

01:06:00.85
chetnaa
Use my venting baddi. He knows all my dow leaves secrets. Yeah well good and bad and our yeah and now I have a misha as my sounding board because Kindka moved out of the country. So our timings dont match so aishha is my sounding good now.

01:06:02.73
charukaarora
Um, we all need 1 sounding board. Yes, yeah to meta.

01:06:19.92
charukaarora
Okay, okay, this could be a little more than 1 word. So you’re allowed. Um, good. Can you describe like 1 of your favorite I’m sure there must have been many one of the favorite moments like where you would just sometimes you have this feeling of gratitude like you know you.

01:06:19.72
chetnaa
Yeah.

01:06:35.25
chetnaa
And.

01:06:37.86
charukaarora
Feel really grateful to be an artist like yes, this is what you’ve chosen. This is this is what you wanted or just anything.

01:06:43.10
chetnaa
I think my greatest or that one moment would be my first solo show that happened in 2015 after I’d won the glensedic award and that was my first solo show and putting up that show.

01:07:02.30
charukaarora
And yeah I’m sure.

01:07:01.84
chetnaa
Seeing my works in entirety I had about 51 works which I had created in Scotland which were put in that show I had done the laser installation in that show I had collaborated with a fashion designer and we work with pieces of cloth. And that show and those and the last few canvases that I ever painted in that show and of course the line drawing and the onset of my lead lats works I the day the show opened with sharuka I I was so nervous. So nervous. And I at the same time very happy and very proud of myself and after the evening ended I sat in the car and I tried my heart out I’m like oh my god I can’t believe this is me I can’t believe I’ve achieved this a solo show.

01:07:54.58
charukaarora
Wow.

01:07:57.12
chetnaa
And what a beautifully curated Solic Show Kindnika had curated that show and my only request to God at that time was I hope this continues that I am not I am not a ones show wonder I hope I can keep up to this what I set the standards that I’ve said for myself.

01:08:06.70
charukaarora
Thank the news. Yeah.

01:08:16.80
chetnaa
I Hope I could do better than that So that was that was one of the most defining moments in my life. Yeah.

01:08:18.13
charukaarora
Yes.

01:08:23.92
charukaarora
Um, so okay, why I have 1 follower question. Do you draw up anything apart from lines now.

01:08:34.14
chetnaa
Yeah, when I go on holidays I love going to the jungles in India so it’s as ah, it’s a conscious thing that every year I need to visit a jungle and where there is no network and there are no not a lot of human beings around you except for the one that you take along with you.

01:08:52.47
charukaarora
Specific.

01:08:53.83
chetnaa
So ah so I try taking my sketchbook and I try taking some chap sticks and all I do sketch in the wild like trees leaves or whatever like random quick sketches. You know, also tapping into the subconscious that you don’t want to think.

01:09:03.72
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah, yeah, subcon to mind.

01:09:12.60
chetnaa
The hand be you know? So it’s basically a freeing exercise. But yeah, same be that and I just leave those sketches there only like I like do it on New Sprint and I just leave them back. Yeah.

01:09:16.22
charukaarora
Of it.

01:09:22.84
charukaarora
Um, okay if you were to meet younger chaitna today. What advice would you give up.

01:09:31.83
chetnaa
Ah I would tell her I Wish you’d been stronger back then about us about certain decisions in my life and and I wish ah that I’d taken control of my life earlier than before I mean then now. So.

01:09:37.99
charukaarora
Um, next 7

01:09:48.83
charukaarora
We all learn our lessons I’m sure is okay.

01:09:50.97
chetnaa
Yeah, yes, yes yeah I mean I’ve like been through a bad marriage Also in between this and also I know because it’s a podcast and I want everyone to be inspired your marriage or your starting out late in life.

01:09:58.64
charukaarora
Yeah.

01:10:11.40
charukaarora
Yes, absolutely.

01:10:10.70
chetnaa
Does not define you what defines you? Yeah, what defines you is how you how you bounce back after that and how you continue with your life that is what defines you So don’t don’t need.

01:10:21.10
charukaarora
That’s true. Yeah I think it’s also not a successes. It’s It’s not the successes. It’s those roadblocks and the courage and the learnings that we learn to just.

01:10:30.89
chetnaa
Um, yeah, yeah.

01:10:37.59
charukaarora
Take that next step to keep keep going even when it’s it’s just getting hard like you know, no success. Um, we all relish success We that validation I mean we all need that to keep going a lot of times but I think the most learning curves and something that I love challenges.

01:10:46.16
chetnaa
No, the.

01:10:56.60
charukaarora
At least I can speak for myself I Love when I’ve seen when whenever I detest things the most is when I grow the most because I know that I’m I’m feeling challenge or something is not does not feel right and I have this urge to fix it like I have this urge if something doesn’t feel right I I need to fix it.

01:11:02.23
chetnaa
And.

01:11:15.19
charukaarora
And that is when like you know we grow those moments of struggle those moments of leap where you just need to believe there like it’s easy to believe in yourself and others are believing I think but no Ben nobody believes in you and then you believe in yourself. That’s the that’s the hard part.

01:11:23.64
chetnaa
Yeah, yeah, you know? Yeah when I was going through my separation visit a friend of mine told me that you know just think of yourself. A seed that has been planted and when you are planting a seed you put it under weight right? You put a lot of soil to give it that warm that moist and you know that really heat heat environment for it to pop so you are in that.

01:11:47.96
charukaarora
Yeah, wrong.

01:12:00.64
charukaarora
Now.

01:12:00.91
chetnaa
Soon right now and you’re in that heat you’re in that zone where you’re like tied and like stuck beneath soil. So just wait for it. You’re going to pop very soon. So so yeah, so yeah.

01:12:11.53
charukaarora
Love that and I think we’re all like we saplings that like there’s one growth we’ll have and then we’ll go back in the ground or like somewhere and then there’ll be another and then another and then it another and I think we all, um, it’s hard to go down. But.

01:12:17.60
chetnaa
Yeah, yeah.

01:12:28.81
chetnaa
Yeah, yes, yes, yeah, yes, yes.

01:12:31.34
charukaarora
Every time you go down you Rise Stronger I at this I know that I mean it’s that’s been to me I mean I feel like even now I find that every day but I think that’s that’s that’s what keeps us going No success keeps you going.

01:12:44.53
chetnaa
And I think that’s also very ah something very common with women sharuka I think we are we keep bouncing back I mean we have like if you unwavering spirit and we have that.

01:12:51.29
charukaarora
Now Yeah un babying spirit.

01:13:03.99
chetnaa
Natural instinct to bounce back to mountun back stronger so because Allison like growing up in an indian society. You’re always like pulled down. You know you have said standardnards. Okay, ah you go to study till this time you’re going to get married you already. Your life is already decided.

01:13:05.12
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah, that’s. Yeah, and yeah, you all it set for you? Yeah,, what’s happening and I think to be if you want to be who you want to be on your own terms. You’re finding.

01:13:23.98
chetnaa
Yeah, so so are legn.

01:13:33.37
charukaarora
You’re fighting every single second every little moment look like a it’s a it’s a fight of many fights. It’s not one fight. It’s a fight of many fights every pay everywhere. Absolutely.

01:13:33.52
chetnaa
Every single day. yeah yeah yeah I see why am I saying this only in India but in other parts of the world also like.

01:13:51.23
charukaarora
Absolutely yeah, absolutely and we’ll continue that and lift each other up. Yeah, okay, have.

01:13:50.30
chetnaa
Yeah, we may not expected to play a certain role and I’m glad we are breaking those non and we are bound to that for ourselves and so happy. Yes, yes, of course of course I believe in that I like I believe in building up a community and.

01:14:09.93
charukaarora
Yes I think there’s no, there’s no fun in growing alone. No fun at all who will you I mean what the point that that yeah I mean no not at all. Okay, my next question my rapid got too little.

01:14:09.13
chetnaa
Connecting people and grow together. That’s that’s my a yeah yeah, no will you share it with? yeah yeah, yeah, you know? yeah.

01:14:29.42
charukaarora
Okay, shout out to an artist or more currently you’re loving on social media I Love this question because there’s so much of talent that we see now on social media that we don’t have access to like we didn’t have access to before.

01:14:43.60
chetnaa
So you’re saying 1 artist that I’m really enjoying on social media right now deja theyja ah her names Pja Gavanka I think she is she’s an indian artist based out of I’m not sure maybe in the bar or Bombay.

01:14:47.22
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, someone’s let you into it? okay.

01:15:02.99
charukaarora
Really I have to find out.

01:15:02.19
chetnaa
Sharua her works are amazing. Amazing. She has just done a facade for the sakshi gallery in Bombay it’s 3 d going 2 d two d going 3 d she works with space and architecture and again geometry or stunning works stunning.

01:15:10.00
charukaarora
Okay.

01:15:15.84
charukaarora
Oh wow I have to take 1 out segment Instagram ah please.

01:15:21.39
chetnaa
I’m I’m loving I first time I will I will first time I saw her works at an exhibition and I’m like oh my god how come I don’t know this artist I mean we’re almost in the same zone of what you’re practicing and.

01:15:31.56
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

01:15:39.90
chetnaa
I was mesmerized with the work I came back home I googled her and found her website. Really nice work stage. Our government girl I’m I’m enjoying her I shared her story also I think day before yesterday. Yeah I I’ll share I will I mean and just do that.

01:15:41.10
charukaarora
Um I have kind it like really I miss that you have to share that with me I link all these links all artists that chips us mentioning right now. In the show notes so you can go onto the website find more about it plus work checknaz projects checkar Instagram and like all of those things and the artist that she’s mentioned in in this entire episode. Okay, last question, what’s your like as a creative woman.

01:15:59.79
chetnaa
Yeah.

01:16:10.85
chetnaa
Next.

01:16:19.77
charukaarora
Um, ter want of know woman not is creative. What’s that one advice that you like to give for people you know, looking up to you coming behind you ah following you? Whats her wanted by that it was one voice.

01:16:33.49
chetnaa
Consistent be consistent.

01:16:37.35
charukaarora
And love you Oh my God I have just one last thing and then I’ll let you go which is anyone who’s listened to this episode and otherwise um, where can they find you where can they follow you. Do you have anything.

01:16:42.56
chetnaa
And thank you.

01:16:54.83
charukaarora
Upcoming that you would like to share with us that we can you know send out on our newsletter on the podcast basically anything and everything you want us to support. We’re here for you and let us know where we can follow you.

01:17:03.81
chetnaa
Um, you can follow me on Instagram Chena under school art. Um I am also up coming up with a website that’s statena dot art. Ah Tina with a double a the website is still under construction. You find it very messy right now.

01:17:22.90
charukaarora
Is this.

01:17:23.81
chetnaa
Ah, and I’ve got 2 shows group shows lined up in Delhi and if the India art fair happens. You’ll find me there. Um I’m not disclosing much about it. You’re trying to keep it under wrap.

01:17:33.41
charukaarora
Oh God it’s still an end.

01:17:41.76
charukaarora
Um, you 50 system of all.

01:17:41.23
chetnaa
Because every time I get excited about it. There is a new wave of covid but ah ah hopefully it’s a solo presentation a focus, a focus booth at the India art fair. And yeah, um, I’m very.

01:17:52.26
charukaarora
Surely. Oh wow I am excited I come I have a full plan for India it said I’m going to bring my mics and cameras and like do all on spoted interviews and we’ll cover. You.

01:18:00.68
chetnaa
Um, very stressed and. Yeah, yeah, you should you should and if you need any help if if you feel you want to get connected to someone from the art team. Yeah I can I can share their email id with you you can identify Kiss with whom I should connect your work.

01:18:14.50
charukaarora
Absolutely please do that? please? Yeah, yeah, anyone who can like give me like media I want to cover like a whole media.

01:18:24.71
chetnaa
And I’ll share their email with you. Yeah, just go on their website and see each Otherook Ah, who’s handling their media and if I know that person I’ll be really happy to connect you? Yeah yeah, yeah, I’m just I’m very.

01:18:32.45
charukaarora
Ah.

01:18:36.45
charukaarora
But I’ll come otherwise all I come I’m going to be there for sure I’ll figure out. No.

01:18:45.67
chetnaa
Was about this here because all the the Ip passes and everything going digital this year. So last year though we would do this no and once you’re ven, you can just pass the card to someone to enter again.

01:18:49.99
charukaarora
Yeah I’ve seen that.

01:18:56.62
charukaarora
Yeah.

01:19:00.13
chetnaa
Don’t know how it would happen this year because how am I gonna get in my peeps like I have no idea I I don’t know maybe you know, but ah, you know but I am not saying this anywhere I tell you the first person to get this information.

01:19:02.34
charukaarora
Um, we figure it out. There’s all we we all the cigarette out.

01:19:16.40
charukaarora
G Now haven.

01:19:19.46
chetnaa
So um, you can remove it from the podcast. Ah ah, ah you know? yeah maybe kill her through the date I’m more than happy to see it because.

01:19:23.18
charukaarora
Know I know this this is it’ll come a couple of weeks from now. So if you’re okay, you can if you don’t want I can get this removed perfect then we will schedule it accordingly.

01:19:36.74
chetnaa
But like every time I get excited. There’s those new way of food with that comes along from like ze list it? Yes, yeah yeah.

01:19:40.85
charukaarora
Okay, we need to close this but then we’ll add. Okay so I’m going to ask this question again. So that’s okay so didn where can you find you support you? What is what’s happening. How can.

01:19:49.33
chetnaa
And.

01:19:58.43
charukaarora
What’s up. What’s next.

01:19:58.47
chetnaa
You can find me on Instagram my Instagram handle is statena undercore art I have a backside that’s under construction. Very messy right now. But that’s state not dot art and um I have 2 group shows lined up that’s going to happen one. End of March one mid of April both are in Delhi and and then hopefully end of April is the India art that is happening. You can see my work over there is that and we excited about that yet.

01:20:28.51
charukaarora
Absolutely yes, we’ll we’ll do like a whole video interview live interview with you and then we’ll have with head friends. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for being here. Thank you for sharing yours.

01:20:36.59
chetnaa
It will be my pleasure here here.

01:20:46.70
charukaarora
Life your work so much with us and for being so kind and humble like really really appreciate this. Thank you so much.

01:20:50.50
chetnaa
That is that is something I want to leave behind me is this that you remember me with kindness and humility that is that is all I want Thank my pleasure and more power to you chanka.

01:21:00.93
charukaarora
We do. We do? Thank you.? Thank you, Thank you I’ll see you soon again.

01:21:08.56
chetnaa
Doing a brilliant thing here. Yes, yes, please? okay.

CATEGORIES:

Charuka Arora

Charuka Arora is a creator at heart. An Artists, designer, podcaster & founder of Arts To Hearts Project. She is Internationally recognised artist
 known for her hand crafted Indian embellished collages & paintings.
Her work has been featured in several international worldwide blogs and publications, including create magazine, candy floss magazine, Fad magazine, The Jealous Curator, visionary art collective, art mums united, Indian artists book of colour to name a few.

Leave a Reply