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Meet Dr Nabanita Javed - Artist

Nirmala Garimella

Dr Nabanita Javed, a self taught painter since 1995  presented her paintings titled ‘Colours of India’ at the Centre of Arts, Natick from May 1 to May 27th. This well presented show sampled a lot of sophisticated art that brought in vivid colors, details of the form. The basic elements of Dr Javed works are clear; a bold delight in paint, color, and texture. The Curator John M Sullivan, on a visit to India was impressed with her work which resulted in her first exhibition in May 2004. This year she was joined by her brother, Amit Ghosh, a photographer who displayed some of his photographs at the exhibition.


Dr Javed shared with Lokvani her thoughts on her creative talent and her foray into the world of art:


 Tell us something about the process of becoming a self taught artist?

I have been interested in art ever since my childhood. However, studying medicine did not leave me with enough time to pursue art seriously even though I had a strong desire to do so. Despite being successful (and quite busy) as a Gynecologist, I often felt a void in
my life. That’s when I decided to pursue this passion more seriously. I started studying art on my own and experimented with various styles and techniques. I started meeting local artists and participating in art workshops whenever my schedule would allow. By early 2002, I had a significant body of work which I showed to some established artists. The response was overwhelming and I was encouraged to put together my first solo exhibition. The greatest validation of my

work came when the exhibit was very well received by not only the art community, but also by the general public and media.


How would you define your work in terms of its style and content?

I feel that my art doesn’t fall within any particular stylistic category. My style is quite flexible and ever changing. Experimentation with different techniques helps to evolve into a style that is fairly unique.

All your painting are so full of vivid colors? What does color mean to

I use colours to portray various emotions. They help in conveying the general mood of the moment. Painting for me is a means of mapping my inner topography, and colours to a great extent help me in doing this. I
generally perceive situations and emotions as colour and that in turn conveys the message.

Woman is the subject in most of your work? Comment.

The women in my paintings are metaphors for the yin, the unconscious and emotions. I frequently use the female form to portray these but the issues are universal.

As an artist do you paint from sheer imagination or you have a snapshot
in front of you with real life characters?

My paintings are a product of imagination and experience. Images emerge as a need to give a form to the experience of touching life in its universal essence. Real life characters have sometimes been used as

One of the visitors to your show commented “It seems to me that the work ‘Girl’s face breaks into a smile ‘is a self portrait. Do you agree with her?

I do! Though it was not intended to be. I guess portraits from imagination often end up being self portraits.

I noticed a distinct difference in the style on your paintings from Crows IV to all the others that are full of color. Did that painting have a special meaning?

Crows IV is an older painting (2003). At that time, I was experimenting with impressionistic techniques, as well as creating texture with paint. My recent works are more expressionistic in style. Crows IV belongs to a series of paintings which had the ubiquitous crow which is such an integral part of the Indian cityscape.

 Have you been influenced by other artists / who do you admire the most?

Among the Indian artists I admire K.G. Subramaniam and M.F. Husain primarily for their tight compositions, choice of colours and their deftness in portraying complex issues in simple forms. I also admire
the works of Gustav, Paul Klee, Pollock, Matisse and Picasso to name a few.

Do you believe that art has enough patronage in India versus the West?

There has always been a segment of the Indian population that has been interested in art. Lately, with the economic upturn in India, I feel that art is becoming more accessible to a greater audience. However,
India has a long was to go before it can be compared to the West in terms of the art market and the general support system for artists.

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Dr Javed flanked by Toby and John M Sullivan

with brother Amit

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