There is a famous quote “Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks”-Plutarch
Entrepreneur of this month at Womenlines is such a passionate artist whose paintings are just like a silent poetry. Meet Sarbani Bhattacharya who has an amazing experience in the field of Art. Read about her entrepreneurial journey in field of art in her own words-
1.Please share with our readers’ little bit about yourself
I am an artist and private art instructor based in Singapore for more than a decade, exhibited Internationally. Completing my Bachelor of Visual Arts with a scholarship at Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata, I shifted to Singapore and started my journey.
Nature, Human relations and the mystical function of life on earth always inspired me. I was born and brought up in Durgapur, a city in West Bengal amidst vivid nature; my love for nature and trees started from there and has the biggest influence on my paintings. I come from a family of spiritual belief; my grandfather even wrote books on the mysticism of this universe, that influence also worked. For me, it is experiencing the awe of the Universe then converting the cosmic elements into visual elements.
An award for Mother and Child from Gnani Arts in 2006, triggered my instinct to explore more on the descendant of human life on earth. So far I have done two solo exhibitions with Gnani Arts and Utterly Art ,and numerous group exhibitions in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, India, Philippines and Dubai, which includes international exhibitions like the Affordable Art Fair (HK, Singapore) Art Expo Malaysia, India Art Festival, Art Fair Dubai, and Art Apart Singapore.
Apart from exhibitions, my art-educational workshops with few schools, NLB, and other private corporate organizations for kids and adults gained popularity. ‘Mother and child’, ‘Importance of re-cycling’, ‘We are the World’ ( Kids are the future), ‘Singapore’s Islamic architecture’ etc and projects for adults on serving society and humanity like ‘Each leaf counts’, ‘Tree of life’, ‘Art from scribble’, ‘Painting Music’, ‘Blooming Instinct’, ‘From Despair to Hope’ etc to name a few.Serving community through my art is another passion for me. The proceeds of my paintings sale contributed to Himanaapa Foundation, Thailand for forestation.Participated in a fundraising exhibition and contributed to the education of unprivileged children to Protsahan, India. Held 3 days live sketching at ITB Asia, for Blue Yonder and donated the paintings for preserving a rice variety and to help farmers.During my last solo exhibition in 2015, happy to contribute $1500 to Nature Society Singapore by selling a painting “In harmony with Nature-2”.
- So when did you venture into this venture and what inspired or motivated you to take a plunge into this venture?
I was pursuing my B.sc when the change started, I started feeling a strange meaninglessness attaining my degree, some other form of expression suppressed inside me wanted to erupt. I decided to go for a Visual Arts degree, which was to add on 5 years more after completing my B.sc. There was a big struggle to convince my parents, they were very traditional. My private art teacher and the then art college head Parthapratim Deb convinced them, thus my journey started.
After attaining the degree, to start on my own here in Singapore was the next hurdle. I have to thank my friend Neena to force me to visit an art exhibition in Suntec in 2002, where I met Ketna Patel and another helping soul Geraldine Shubert, who motivated me to start my adventure here.
- Can you share with us some of the challenges you faced during your initial days?
Challenges stay at any stage in some or the other form. Truly speaking the biggest challenge for me was marketing for my art. For any full-time artist, promoting oneself while continue making art is always the toughest job. Promoting only is a full-time job, which disturbs the passion for doing art. Another challenge was space, have faced and still facing major difficulties regarding space, here in Singapore space is very expensive.I must tell I worked slowly. I registered Sarbanisart to conduct art classes and to run my conceptual workshops, but as an artist, I wanted to work with the very traditional way with galleries only. I believed in originality of ideas and honest representation, never advertised commercially about Sarbanisart, just maintaining a Facebook page for few years.
By God’s grace never run out of ideas.
People know me through galleries through my buyers, friends and students’ feedback and then eventually through media. Few students who are placed in universities, or doing job come back to join holiday classes, that is very rewarding.
- So how do you balance your personal and professional life?
Surely it was the most challenging part of my journey.
I always worked from home, so that I can give enough time to family. I saw my mother as a homemaker, for this I used to compare my every step with my mother and used to feel guilty for not doing enough for my family. On the other hand, I used to feel torn apart for not giving my 100% to my art. Though my husband, in-laws family were supportive still my own parameter of perfection kept me unsatisfied. To solve this, meditation helped. Upon my father’s suggestion, I did a yoga and meditation course from Art of Living, which totally changed my view to look at life. It brought the much-needed balance. I matched my working hours with my husband’s and daughter’s working hours and made myself free when they are free. I work slowly when required, but never stop. ‘Never stop’ this is my only motto, ‘achieve more’ this is not. When you are at peace anyway you achieve more and the struggle for achieving more fades away. With this fine balance, I am able to continue my profession as well as my passion for community service, performance arts etc.
- What would you suggest to other aspiring women who want to venture out on their own?
If they are thinking they wish to start something, ‘NOW’ is the time, and if not now then surely soonest someday, they should just believe in themselves and the power working behind them. Not to set a lot of expectations, but not to stop dreaming, never compare with other contemporary’s success, each one’s journey is different. I have worked with a lot of limitations, with bare minimum recourses, but I have kept my dreams alive.
6. Is there any person who has mentored/supported/inspired you?
Of course; then I have to mention a lot of names and it can fill a huge book. I am thankful for my childhood art teacher, art college teachers; friends in different phases of life, my family members….a lot of people knowingly or unknowingly inspired me. Now I accumulate inspiring moments from regular incidents.
7. What do you have in the pipeline for your venture’s future development?
It will feel a bit unrealistic to say, but I do not plan that way now, I give my 100% to manage my current situation, and believe that time has its own plan to bring the best out of me if I allow it. But that doesn’t mean that I do not dream or believe in it. I trust to continue serving community through my art, wish to spread my art-exhibit internationally to the countries I have not exhibited yet; want to do something with the healing power of art; want to explore more talents while working with my students; dream to try out larger works of different mediums, including architectural art items and sculptures.
Earlier when I used to set goals, I used to feel extremely restless for any delay or deviation from it. Now the new course of action has made me more productive. Currently working on my next group exhibition with Gnani Arts, ‘Spaces of Sanctity, Sacred Monuments of Singapore in Fine Arts,’ starting from 30 September 2017. Looking forward to a successful show!
Women Lines wishes best of luck to Sarbani for her journey in fields of art.
Visitwww.facebook.com/Sarbanisart to have a look at her paintings collection.
Promoting excellence in women!