Portraying Nudity As Beauty

Published By: 
NT Buzz
Dated On: 
8th June 2017
Portraying Nudity As Beauty

Q. Why did you title your upcoming exhibition at Carpe Diem as 'Alice's Wonderland'?
My name is Susan Alice. I felt that when I am portraying a woman form in my paintings, I did not want people to understand it as being an every woman or women in general. I thought let it be something from my own imagination. It is obviously inspired by Lewis Carroll's book title, 'Alice in Wonderland'.

Q. Is this your first exhibition in Goa?
Yes this is my first exhibition in Goa and fifth overall. Here, 30 paintings will be exhibited which i painted using ink, water colour and acrylics. Acrylic is the new medium to me. I've not done any exhibition outside India. I believe in affordable art and I don't believe in over charging any art.

Q. Why did you choose nudes as the theme for your upcoming exhibition at Carpe Diem?
When I paint, I try to incorporate my travel as I have travelled extensively. Usually I take photographs and then I use these photographs to paint. My actual art work is only my travel. But when I spoke to Daegal Godinho of Carpe Diem who otld me to do something different, I decided to do something different, I decided to do something on the female form after a few discussions we decided upon this theme. I personally feel that female body is very beautiful. Indians are not open to nudity as much as people are in other countries; we hide what we have. I felt that i must portray nudity as beauty instead of looking at it as something vulgar.

Q. Despite majoring in Zoology and being a qualified teacher from Cambridge University, you chose art,why?
I initially wanted to be a doctor, and that's the reason I had started by taking up science as my stream. But I was extremely young and my dad told me that he couldn't afford to send me to dentistry or to medicine. So I started with my MBA. Besides, MBA I started with my journey into airlines. I got an opportunity to fly with the now defunct American airlines 'Pan Am'. I was with the company for 11 years as the co-coordinator and later as an airline trainer. When i had my baby, I left the airlines. After this my husband had to move for work, so we left India and settled abroad. When I was in Japan I couldn't work legally because i had no work visa. Applying getting the visa and then seeking a job was a whole task there! I had to find another alternative to keep myself busy and so i started exploring my art options. I learnt Japanese art and embroidery, brush paintings etc. We then moved to China, where I couldn't work again. So i dabbled in Chinese art and kept teaching myself. Then moving to US and having the same experience, I thought why don't I start selling my art? Later I came back to Delhi and did my first show in 2001. I was just an amateur then, hence used ink and water colours as my painting medium. So I put up 25 paintings and got 85 orders for my paintings. With this, I realised that I had a gift.

Q. Were you always good at art?
Yes, I was always very good at art. As a child, when I was studying in Loreto Convent School in Delhi, we had an all-Delhi art competition for students and I secured second place. Art was always in my blood. But I never though I was good enough. I didn't know that I could sell my art and people would demand for it by placing orders.

Q. Why do you prefer the woman as the subject of your art?
Well, that's an interesting question although I've never thought about it. I do tend to draw girls more than the boys. I think I am original feminist. When I was leaning in an army school, I had many opportunities that an average girl of my age never had. In an army school, you are allowed to play table tennis with boys or travel, etc which in those days wouldn't happen in the schools in cities or villages. I know some friends of mine who did not have such opportunities in their childhood. Secondly, I was always aggressive about domestic violence over a woman, or the when the girl child was picked up for money, which I saw happening in Delhi. I believe in the strength of the woman and I believe that she is the heart of the family. Without this heart, the family doesn't work. The beauty of the woman should be revealed, and the exhibition at Carpe Diem will definitely serve the purpose with its theme.