At an age when most teens are still finding their feet, she has found her ground. With no mentor to guide her through, this seventeen-year-old looks for inspiration from within. Yasmeen Maqbool learns of the different strokes that lead Anabhra Saluja to take her passion for art to the next level by donating proceeds from the sale of her work to a not-for-profit organization for the differently abled. Equipped with initiative, ambition, initiative and grit, Anabhra believes there’s nothing stopping today’s youth from achieving their aim. Excerpts from the interview:
Art is a medium of expression for me. It helps me channel my emotions into something that is more constructive and positive. For every child, art is about joining the dots or learning how to draw shapes. For me, the most exciting thing to do in school or at home was to colour and draw. I took my passion forward and have continued with it ever since.
I love to try different mediums and experiment with different techniques. I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to do multiple workshops such as lithography, sculpture, photography and media design. However, my favourite form of art is illustration, as I love drawing and printmaking.
I think that it is very important for every child to have opportunities; I started to work with an organization
in Bhopal, India, called Arushi, which is a Bhopal- based not-for-profit organization working with and for people with disabilities and issues related to them. The basic objective of their work is to generate opportunities and develop capacities in people with disabilities. The disadvantaged become susceptible to blatant as well as some subtle forms of oppression, exploitation, abuse and marginalization. Arushi works with them to develop capabilities in them so that they are able to assess their choices and make informed decisions.
With my paintings, I created cards that were sold in India and in the UAE for AED 100 for a pack of ten cards. This helped me create awareness about the organization as well as raise money for them to help educate children and conduct research.
Another organization I have started to work with is called Special Needs Future Development Centre (SNF). The aim of the center is to provide holistic support to young adults with special needs through personalized and professional care. I have volunteered to create some cards for them and teach art to interested children over the weekend.
Many different artists such as Mark Powell, Bruce Conner and Chuck Close have inspired me. I find that there is always a lot to learn from professional artists who have the experience in creating their own work.On a personal front, my younger brother and sister also greatly inspire me.
Art comes in many forms and I will definitely use it in the future, if not at as a traditional artist.
After I finish my final year of school, I intend to study Fine Arts and Architecture to pursue my dreams
14 x 14 cm
I explored how each person is unique in a literal manner by understanding the use of line and how that can effect the composition of a person’s face. This drawing was inspired by Mark Powell, an artist who drew the elderly on post cards. He inspired me to use a non-tradition surface for my drawings.
I made this piece when I research on my culture of India. The work was based on art that wasn’t really considered because of whom it was made by. Pottery and printing is so widely used in India that the work is thought to be unoriginal. I used these two concepts and combined them to create work that shows each work is unique. I created the piece using pottery, wood, watercolours.
The photography of the in the bubbles are from bursts of water in the rare form of circular, to show the uniqueness of each moment in life. Furthermore, the water is symbolic of the fluidity of the moment passing by and their uncontrollable nature. The drawing of the girl is to show all her memories being stored for her to keep, but in a fragile nature.
Aryika is in the style of Chuck Close, the project provided me with a greater understanding of the color theory and the balancing act of the cool and warm tones. I choose to use a picture of my sister, inspired by Close’s portrait of ‘Emma’.
Identity 60 x 60 inches
The installation explores identity; the way we are molded into who we are through nurture. The music is symbolic of a lullaby that the children may hear every night. I presented them in TV’s because of how we are portrayed when we grow up. Our parents always want to show off our best side no matter what, which hides certain parts of us stored within us. This piece explores the important relationship of family.
The Dual Facilitated Nature of Nature 75 x 60 cm
I created this piece while exploring the close up in our nature. This piece is symbolic of the hidden truth because of the duality in the nature. To express this, I created the two section of the lion and tiger which are monochromatic and polychromatic, to show each of the sides.