Dubai: In conversation with Indian artist, Vidisha Pandey
Vidisha Pandey’s journey in the art world in Dubai is pretty new, we speak about her inspirations, future projects and more
Excerpts from the conversation
When did you move to Dubai and from where
I moved here in 2016 from Mumbai.
How did the opportunity to get into arts — arise for you in the UAE
I have been an artist since birth. By the time I came to Dubai, my kids had grown up and that’s when I decided to restart my art journey. I started with taking art classes for kids and adults both.
Specify the mediums and genres of art you work in/with
As an artist, there are no limitations to which genre of art I can work with. However, I am invested in Indian folk and tribal arts, which are based on stories and day-to-day lives. I’m
passionate about the same, hence I am working on promoting it in Dubai.
What has been your experience of working as an artist in Dubai
My experience of working here in Dubai has been delightful. People are inquisitive about Indian folk and tribal art, but they aren't aware of it because of the lack of visibility — as for the longest, nobody was showcasing these art forms in exhibitions or any other platform. But once I started to talk and showcase these long-lost and forgotten art forms, then the response we received was overwhelming.
I participated in ‘The Art & Craft Exhibition Series’ held as part of ‘India @75 — Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ conducted by the Consulate General of India (July-Sept 21). For the same, nine artists were short-listed from over 650 entries, and I was one of them. This was quite prestigious and important because Indian folk art received a good platform and exposure.
Where would you say your early inspirations came from
My early inspiration came from my parents as my mother used to play the tabla and she was great in craft work. Also, I remember in our school days, she (mother) used to help us with our artworks and it became very popular. All the teachers and even the principal praised the same a lot. Whereas my father was very fond of Sanskrit shlokas. So, one can say my parents are my inspiration.
Every form of folk art is not a tribal art, and every tribal art is not a folk art either. There is a difference and I believe it is time we discuss the same, and also showcase these arts on different platforms, globally
Indian artist, Vidisha Pandey
Did you study art as a subject, tell us more
Yes, I did. I pursued an Applied and Fine Arts diploma from Allahabad University, India and then I pursued a course in Fashion Designing from INSD, India; along with that I pursued many short-term courses from different teachers.
Do you recall a time when you knew arts is what you'd like to pursue for a living
When I was in school, I used to take part in SUPW (Socially Useful Productive Work), which helped me understand my passion. After marriage, I got a supporting husband, who further helped me recognise my skills and talents — and I got a chance to start again.
Tell us about your few recent art projects
Until today, I have done a few exhibitions and many workshops to create awareness about Indian folk and tribal art. Our first exhibition, PANKHUDEE, was in the Consulate General of India, Dubai.It was followed up by various PANKHUDEE art workshops. In November 2022, we hosted our second exhibition, SHAKTI, at DIAC (Dubai International Art Centre), where many of our artworks found new homes. In 2023, we launched a calendar, SAMAY 2023, representing 12 different folk and tribal art forms by 12 different artists. The same was launched by Dr. Aman Puri, Consul General of India, Dubai. (Featured above)
If not an artist, you would have been
If by any chance I wouldn't have become an artist in this lifetime — then, I am sure that I would have ended up in some art-related field itself, say a writer or director.
A message for artists who are starting out
To everyone who is new and wants to start their art journey, I would like to say that always dream big, try your best to achieve it and start from any place and any age also on top of that have fun.
I have always admired Bollywood actor Boman Irani, who started his journey when he was 50. In Dubai, I admire Anjini Prakash Laitu Sir, who started his journey when he was 60 or so. In general, I have always admired people, who have made an attempt to do something or have done something big irrespective of their age — because it takes a lot of courage to rise and shine at an age when people expect you to slow down and retire.
Know more about Vidisha, here
(The above feature is a paid collaboration between purvagrover.com and the artist)