Sujata Tibrewala current artist in residence at LFA, Chicago, commemorates Holi with her works, depict the essence of the just gone by festival that celebrates diversity

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Artist Sujata Tibrewala marks the spirit of Holi, the spring festival of colors that was celebrated in India yesterday, by submerging her artworks in diverse hues. Her works currently on display at her Cupertino, California studio resonates with similitude despite the variance, just like the world we live in.

Inspired by a real-life widow celebrating Holi, the portrait speaks the common language of endurance

Inspired by a real-life widow celebrating Holi, the portrait speaks the common language of endurance

It’s the different hues that come together to form a cohesive unit

As millions of Indians across the globe celebrated Holi (that fell this year on March 24) by dunking and splashing each other with colors, artist Sujata Tibrewala, through her works tries to understand the important underlying meaning behind this revelry. Her works inspired by this unique festival of colors currently on exhibit at her studio in Cupertino are colorful reminders that the world is a beautiful place to live in because there is similarity in dissimilarity. And it is this message that she thinks has the power to heal the world of its hatred, long after the celebrations are over too.

The artist, who is known for her strong usage of colors, consumes her inspirations in a bevy of different shades to paint her artworks. But as a beautiful irony the more she introduces variety, the more the works string together to form a composite unit. Tibrewala finds her works as a perfect metaphor to understand the world we are living in. She says just as the different colors on her canvas speak the universal language of love, longing, pain and suffering similarly every human being regardless of caste, creed and religion represents the same aspirations and emotions.

Amongst some of Tibrewala’s most profound works is an acrylic on canvas artwork titled Devotee. A real-life widow whom the artist spotted inspires the work. The widow was seen celebrating Holi at the Indian city of Vrindavan. The moment is a paradox as while the city is famous for celebrating the most mirthful holi; traditionally the widows are forbidden from indulging in the festivity. The artist was moved by the silent defiance on the widow’s part and the absence of any insignia that may hint at her religion or lineage. For the artist thus, her expressions spoke of the common language of suffering and overcoming.

Concentrating on the theme of colors, to mark the just gone by occasion, the artist presents another work titled Rainbow Flowers. The seemingly simplistic work has a profound message. Just as it’s the various colors that come together to form a singular structure, so do the varied experiences that we all encounter in life form the story of our beings. The day we realize that we are all going through similar upheavals we will be more sympathetic towards one another. Almost synchronizing with the thought is another work entitled Color Talk. A beam of hues, radiant as energy, synergizes together to form the force.

So, this festival of colors the artist with her works attempts to highlight that just as Holi inspires us to forget the differences and to immerse in colors, let us all understand each other’s chaos and emerge as more emphatic beings. And this she thinks will be the right way to celebrate the festival not just one day but each day of the year.

About the artist:

Sujata Tibrewala, a self-taught artist come engineer remarkably embodies the indomitable spirit of human existence through her works. Her works center around the theme of eco-feminism. She has exhibited her artworks in some of the most reputed venues around the globe such as University of Illinois, Chicago, Raw San Jose, Parallax Art Fair London, the Regional Commission of Arts St Louis, Life Force Arts Chicago, Mindworks Gallery Chesterfield, St. Louis Artists' Guild, Chesterfield Arts, Art World Association, Women's Caucus for the Arts, MySLART and Lalit Kala Academy, Delhi. She moved to the USA in 2010 from India and practices her art form at the Bay Area, CA, where she resides presently.

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