Women have been and continue to be an integral part of the Institution of art, but despite being engaged with the art world, many women artists have found opposition in the traditional narrative of art history. They have faced challenges due to gender biases, from finding difficulty in training to selling their work and gaining recognition. “Is gender in the eyes of the beholder?” This simplistic statement has a profound history to its background, that perhaps is relevant even today.
For centuries, women artists have not been judged by their skills in being able to gain the recognition and foster their vision through this creative medium. According to the National Museum of women in the arts, 51% of visual artists today are women. But when it comes to exhibitions and gallery representation, the numbers tell a less optimistic story. In London, for example, 78% of the galleries represent more men than women, while only 5 per cent represent an equal number of male and female artists. A study by Said Business School – University of Oxford revealed that works by women artists sell for 47.6% less than those of Men. Would that mean that women should paint 47.6% less? Even in India, for three thousand years, only the women of Mithila have been making the paintings of Gods & Goddesses of Hindu mythology, access to art education, avenues for display and value associated with the work of women, leaves them wanting for more.
As women artists, we always believe that art is not gender specific. I as an artist strive to bring awareness to the skill-sets that woman artists possess through my art work. They have a loud undertone of my vision, our efforts and our stories. They are an embodiment of emotions, passion and gives the world an insight into my mind, and the state of being. They aim to get right at the heart of the stereotype that there’s just not enough good work by women. While there is a long way to go for women to be treated equally with men in this area, our active participation in the modernist history of Indian art is helping change the very perception of what qualifies as art, which earlier came to be defined only by men. There is also greater parity in the Indian art world, considering it now boasts many more female participants who include gallerists, dealers, critics and artists themselves.
Be it any field, photographers to painters to musicians, women across the country are changing the face of feminism in the art world—and it’s amazing. There are many names in India who are defying the stereotype and breaking the shackles of this stigma. Names such as Pooja Sood, Bharti Kher, Shilpa Gupta, Seema Kohli & Jagdip Jagpal, are leading by example in lending a voice and building platforms for women artists and a testimony of that is the sheer number of shows by women artists in the last few years in India and abroad. Consider the field of art itself: Indian woman have been producing outstanding work which has got international acclaim and propelled them to the pinnacle of the art world.
Abhigna Kedia is a resin artist who creates alternative abstract & expressionistic paintings. She paints with mixed media by layering acrylic paints, Inks, pigments and resin. Her art is deeply instinctive, sublime yet emotional and as she opines each piece she creates ‘draws a viewer to get lost’. Each piece is unique, customized and cannot be duplicated.
With an approach as fluid as her art form, she believes in ‘delivering experiences of another dimensions’ and keeping her art ‘open to any form of interpretation’. While the unpredictable and indestructible nature of the art form drew Kedia towards Resin Art, her fascination with adding in layers and having ‘conversations with colours’ made her follow her passion as a full-fledged Resin Artist.
Kedia resides in Bangalore and holds an Advanced Diploma in Art & Design from Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology and Bachelors in Visual Arts from Chitrakala Parishath.