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Colour my world

Yes, it’s true indeed. Warm and rich colours are the hallmark of Tarini Agarwal’s magical canvases. They subtly convey myriad nuances of a diverse range of feelings and emotions, and speak to you in a soft and gentle voice as the artist shares her innermost thoughts with her viewers.

On the occasion of Tarini’s upcoming exhibition ‘‘Coloureidoscope’ at the WOW (Wednesday on Walls) exhibition from Wednesday, April 19 to May 2, at the City Seasons Hotel,  the Oman Tribune spoke to the artist to gain a deeper insight into what drives her forward as a creative person.

At the WOW exhibition, that will be inaugurated on April 19 at 7 pm, I will be exhibiting around 18-19 paintings. They are mostly landscapes and portraits in mixed media, acrylic, pastels, oils and ink. Out of my 15 larger canvases, as many as 10-12web of them are completely new works, especially done for this exhibition.

A characteristic feature of Tarini’s abstract works is the ways she covers her canvas with large swaths of colour, sometime sombre and contemplative and sometimes bubbly and effervescent. But always magical.

Tarini admits that she is a self taught artist. I used the online route to garner some fragments of knowledge on the subject. It’s amazing what a lot you can do through the internet; the whole world is at your doorstep”.

I created my own curriculum for a two-year study course starting with drawing, moving from one assignment to another and in this way I was actually able to complete the course”.

Facebook is also a very big learning tool.“ I found everything here – courses, ideas, tips and teachers, mentors and friends.

I am originally from Meerut, a district in western Uttar Pradesh. But because for the most part of my life I lived in Bombay, I like to think of myself as a ‘Bombaywallah’. Tarini is an honours graduate in political science from Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi.

But coming back to her first love, Tarini says she always harboured a strong passion and yearning to paint deep inside me ever since I can remember. “In the beginning whatever flowed from within me were random ideas and thoughts. You could say I was trying to find my feet, or perhaps to put it more appropriately, I was like a fledging, trying to spread my wings and fly to far away places and distant horizons, in search of my inner self”.

She admits that for a time “I was grounded in the more mundane responsibilities that marriage imposes on you as a wife, mother and career person. I’m happy in a way that that phase of my life is over and now I have enough time on my hands to focus on myself.

“My creative space is an earned space that I’ve have secured for myself after 24 years. Now my two children are practically settled. My son is married and working in Dubai . He and my daughter-in-law are the proud parents of a little girl. My daughter, who is working here in Muscat, lives with me.

“Coming in contact with the Mona Lisa Art Group proved to be a turning point in my growth as an artist. Becoming involved with expatriate women artists in 2012 was a wonderful opportunity to meet up with an extremely diverse group of creative people, to share, learn and exchange ideas rooted in our cultural backgrounds and ethnic identities”.

“Besides this, what adds to my wellsprings of ideas is the fact that I travel a lot. The exposure I gain webfrom this has been invaluable apart from the fact that you make so many wonderful friends along the way”.

Tarini reiterates that through her association with the Mona Lisa Art Club as well as the Omani society for Fine Arts, “I got to know a lot of Omani artists who were always very kind, unconditionally coming forward to share their knowledge and expertise with me. Without this invaluable input and support, I wouldn’t have been able to do anything. Nor would it have been possible to come so far, or get to the place that I’m now in.

The journey thus far has been a very fulfilling  and satisfying ; a dream realised. And yet I still feel I still have to go a long way before I can refer to myself as an ‘artist’. In fact I would say that for creative people there is no final place. There is so much to learn. I suppose if we start calling ourselves ‘artists’, we’d stop evolving  and we’d stop learning.

Talking about the kind of support she has received from her family, Tarini says everyone has been extremely supportive of my hopes and dreams.

To a question about who have been her strongest critics, Tarini affirms that she has been her strongest critic; friends and family on the other hand were always very supportive and encouraging about everything I set out to do where art is concerned”.

Tarini likes to continue with her paintings and artworks at a very relaxed and leisurely pace. “I don’t like any kind of competition. When I’m in a competitive environment, I simply prefer to step aside.

Talking about her ‘other self’, Tarini says she has spent 24 years of her life working as a teacher. “I started of working with Indian School Muscat in 1992 in the pre-primary section before moving on to National Hospitality Institute (NHI) and the Oman Tourism College

This is Tarini’s second solo exhibition. The previous one held last year in September was also at the City Seasons Hotel. She says she has been participation regularly in several group exhibitions since 2012.

One of my work has been selected and is displaying at Stal Gallery, it will be auctioned at The Sultan School to raise funds with Down Syndrome. The auction will take place at Sultan School on 19th April 2017

Apart from all this, Tarini has also formed on Facebook a sort of an art club or forum called Art Circle Muscat. “This is an all women, group of 52 members. It is primarily an online platform to learn and grow together”.