Her tryst with drawing, sketching and colours began when she was 11. Soon, she realised that her most favourite place to be in at school was the art room. Greatly influenced in her colour use by legends like Amrita Sher-gil and MF Husain, she is now ready with her 15th solo art exhibition, A Brush With Nature, at Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre in the National Capital between April 21 and April 23.
“The exhibition encompasses my entire body of work from 2015 onwards,” says artist Kajal Nalwa, adding that she has portrayed various aspects of women’s life through her works. “These include various expressions that come across to her during her lifespan. I believe a woman, in a semi-abstract form, somehow merging with her natural surroundings, brings in an element that co-relates divinity or divine forces with Nature. I like to portray Nature in all its beauty. I pay my tribute to the selflessness of the divine force called Nature through my works,” she puts in.
Kajal grew up between the hills of Himachal Pradesh at Lawrence School, Sanawar and the beautiful island of Sri Lanka where her parents were posted. “These two places though divergent have abundant natural beauty. My inspiration comes from them,” says Kajal who is among the rarest individuals who did not have to face the conventional parents’ questions – Why do you want to become an artist? How will you survive if you do become one?. “My parents were always happy that I chose to be an artist. Moreover, it wasn’t one fine day that I decided to be an artist. It was the most gradual and natural processes. Incidentally, my sister (noted artist Iloosh Ahluwalia) too is an artist,” she shares.
However, she gives credit to her husband who was instrumental in encouraging her to exhibit her works. “Inder has been a pillar of strength and the man behind this woman,” avers Kajal who, when not painting or sketching, is either reading, watching movies or swimming. “Not to forget, I take care of the home too,” she quips.
The artist shuttles between Delhi-NCR and Goa. “I have set up my art studio at both these places. We also travel a lot as both of us are interested in exploring new places,” says Kajal who feels art is very subjective topic and literally lies in the eyes of the beholder – the art connoisseur.
Kajal, who loves donning the creative cap during the morning hours of the day, feels art fairs are a boon as “people get a glimpse of culture and that has to be a good thing!!!” The artist adds that word-of-mouth publicity and seeing artworks at people’s homes is probably the best way to promote art as is holding exhibitions.
“Art is a slow and steady process and isn’t always monetarily rewarding. It is the passion that keeps one painting more and more,” she ends.