Anjani Reddy spent 25 years moulding creative individuals into artists and now she devotes herself to sharing her experiences on canvas
Growing up in Nandi Kandi, an agrarian village in Telangana, Anjani Reddy spent idyllic days playing within the courtyard of the 10th century Sri Ramalingeswara Swamy temple. Those early impressions of the Chalukya dynasty temple instilled in her a deep respect for its awe-inspiring statues and intricate carvings, and a strong appreciation of art and attention to detail. That, compounded by her parents’ love and encouragement for artistry in their surroundings was perhaps Anjani’s earliest initiations to noticing the beauty around her.
She chose to pursue art instead of medicine or engineering, the more obvious career choices in those days.
The former professor and head of department of painting at the College of Fine Arts, Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University, who retired from her post in November last year after 25 years of teaching, still devotes her time to doing what she loves best — expressing herself through her art.
“My experiences invariably find form on my canvases. An artist’s work is the expression of his or her feelings and perceptions of the world. It takes shape into a form that is gradually built up with the help of lines, textures, design, tone and colour into a work of art,” she says.
Anjani’s subject matter predominantly consists of empowering women: “I enjoy creating beautiful compositions that transport the viewer into my world, where graceful female figures embrace their natural environment and are pervious to the many vivid colours around them, the rituals, festivities and all-embracing day to day activities.”
Having educated aspiring artists for more than two decades, Anjani still misses teaching, “I enjoyed my work immensely. I’m blessed to have had the opportunity to pursue my vocation. It never felt like a job, it was always an extension of my creativity.”
But can art really be taught?
Anjani explains, “True, creativity cannot be taught, but it’s possible to steer a person toward developing an artistic vision. We can only teach them how beauty lies in the mundane things around us, and it’s up to them to further build on that vision. Nowadays art has crossed the boundaries of technicalities. Artists are using different mediums and ways of expressing aesthetics —be it paintings, installations, video installations, art performances — the means of self-expression are boundless. It’s all about how well you can express your feelings. That’s what is important.”
With a career spanning over four decades, immense national and international recognition and a large repertoire of work displayed at many prestigious museums, academies, art societies and private galleries both home and abroad you can’t help but wonder, how does she manage it all?
“It’s a tough balancing act for women as we have to fulfil multiple family and social obligations. There are some women artists who are childless by choice or prefer a bohemian lifestyle, but I think I’ve become more enriched as an artist due to these roles — be that of a wife, mother or teacher. They’ve all added to my wealth of life experiences. Embracing all these facets and making the best of them depends on a lot of self-discipline and effective time management,” she adds.
Category: Art & Design