Disability is not a deterrent for artist
A thinking bird, a smiling flower, a calm and peaceful horse.. These startling and rare images which Anu Jain depicts in her paintings, are her way of communicating with the world around her.
Anu, 32, wonders why disabled persons are stigmatized, when no one is perfect in this imperfect world. Born without legs and rudimentary elbows, Anu paints, photographs and designs artwork. She is no amateur either, having cleared Chitra Bhaskar Part-II from Prachin Kala Kendra, Chandigarh.
Anu may not have fingers, but plays the piano. An avid reader of Sudha Murty’s books, she recently painted Murty’s portrait and presented it to her.A surprised Sudha wrote to Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan to organize an exhibition of paintings of a rare artist. The exhibition, sponsored by Infosys Foundation, opened on Saturday and is on till January 23.
Her family is her backbone.While elder sister Abha and younger brother Trilok help her update her website, her parents Kiranprabha and Vinay Kumar Jain stand as her pillars. Abha says Anu is a vibrant, self-motivated, resourceful person and the family is only supporting her interests. “One day , my mother gave me a brush and paint and asked me to draw on white canvas. I gradually felt interested and explored.
I was hometrained. My paintings are reflections of my thoughts. Most of my paintings have flowers, birds, the sunset and sunrise. No flower is dull in my work, they are bright and cheerful. Pink is the colour of hope, love and happiness and you can see many pink flowers in my work. All that art requires is focus and patience,” she says.
Painting on discarded X-ray sheets are another interest. Her `Ganesha on X-Ray’ caught many eyes at the exhibition.Currently settled in Bengaluru, she is set to teach painting at the Bhavan-BBMP school at Srirampuram.
Her interaction with students can make a tremendous impact both in their sense of art and their attitude towards life,” says HN Suresh, director, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.
What disappoints Anu is the lack of ramps and lifts in public spaces across India. “We do not have enough special schools, disabled-friendly roads and footpaths. Treat us like normal people” she says.