Sunayana Malhotra, painting the world in the colors of femininity
Growing up in central Delhi, especially in a place like the Bengali market which is close to Mandi House, is an ideal setting for an artist to bud and blossom. It also automatically brings us closer to the art and gives them a deeper understanding of what art is. Sunayana Malhotra was born into this privilege. She studied at Barakhamba Road Modern School and had a weakness for drawing during her school days. Today, she expresses herself through her paintings and her expressions have traveled the world.
After school, Sunayana started frequenting the many theaters and art galleries in Mandi House, such as Kamani Auditorium, Shri Ram Center, etc. Visiting these galleries sharpened her interest in painting, although she was already into drawing. These visits also brought her closer to different art forms.
However, she did not start painting seriously until she got married and her children grew up, it was just a hobby that she continued to pursue. It was only after her first exhibition at Ashoka Art Lounge, New Delhi that she began to paint professionally. She tells us that the overwhelming response she received right after her first exposure not only gave her confidence, but inspired her to do more of what she did.
Most of Sunayana’s work revolves around two major themes: the female body and the lotus flower. She is an artist who believes that many things can be said through the figure of the female body. “A woman’s body has so much to say. We talk so much about what lies above a woman’s skin, but there is so much more that lies beneath her skin. Through my paintings, I try to explore that.”
Sunayana also tells us about Lotus and why it is a recurring element in her work. She believes that the uniqueness of Lotus is that even though it flourishes in muddy water, it is still pure and untouched by that mud. “That’s how we humans should strive to be as well,” she says.
For Sunayana, it never happens that an inspiration strikes her, as a result of which she begins to paint. For her, creativity is a constant process and painting is something she does daily. Sunayana also doesn’t believe in waiting for the right moment, because for her painting is a regular work practice, part of her daily routine, almost.
According to her, creating your own identity through the work of an artist is very important and this is what she advises new young artists. For her future endeavours, Sunayana looks forward to experiencing her work and hopes to see herself as active for many years to come. She is also striving to take her work to more international venues in the future.