Painting the woman’s world

Deccan Chronicle.  | Reshmi Chakravorty

Lifestyle, Books and Art

Ana Sneeringer, a Slovenian–American artist who held her first solo exhibition in the city recently, shares about her inspirations & more

Ana Sneeringer with her artworks

Art has a language of its own, known to be breaking any geographical and psychological barriers. This holds true for Ana Sneeringer also, a Slovenian–American artist, currently residing in Hyderabad.

The artist had her debut solo show in Hyderabad from 28 February to 01 March, titled “Why Not Be You?” The artwork at the show features women as the epicentre of her art exploration. A percentage of the proceeds from the show will go to SAFA INDIA — an NGO working in the urban slums of Hyderabad on socio–economic empowerment of women and education of the girl child.

Talking about her artistic journey till date and what made her come to Hyderabad, Ana says, “Ten years ago, I met my husband in Bosnia. While I am from Bosnia, he is from the USA. I was a documentary journalist then and he was working there; we were posted in the same place. I guess it was destined for our paths to cross. A year later, I left my job and followed him for his work. Ten years and seven countries later, we are now in India. Then my husband and I started a non-profit organisation in the United States to offer education on sustainability and self-sufficiency—Okanogan Highlands Lavender Farm. It was while running the organisation that I took up art. The cultural diversity from our travels was the source of inspiration. It was not a conscious effort to move into the art field; it was more a creative outlet for me. It was only when I started exploring women in my art, through figurative forms that it took a more serious turn for me.”

Elaborating about her art, she tells us that it offers her perspective on how women explore their inner and outer worlds and find the courage to truly be themselves. “The women I portray have what I call an ‘attitude’ of confidence, courage. Attitude, in my description, is not a negative state of mind. It is how we approach life. It is a result of self-reflection. We are constantly battling expectations and stereotypes and my exploration is to examine the power a woman has inside herself.”

Setting examples through her art

In her debut solo exhibition, Ana displayed some of her earlier work as well as her new series, ‘Dream’. The exhibition showcased approximately 30 pieces of art. Then, Ana shared with us her insights on choosing to give some of the proceeding from the exhibition to SAFA India NGO. “I have two daughters, and I want them to know that women are an essential part of society and have the same values, and they should have the same opportunities as men. And to do that, I need to educate them. SAFA is a wonderful organisation that is empowering women and educating young girls toward a better life. It goes hand-in-hand with what I do as a woman as well,” explains Ana.

Ana plans to collaborate with a couple of interior designers and to work on commissions. “As the world is still under the grasp of COVID, I had to push my scheduled exhibitions in New York initially planned for May to later this year, if not even to 2022. I am also collaborating with a couple of interior designers and working on commissions. As I am an intuitive artist, I let myself be open to new opportunities. You never know how and where life takes you,” she concludes.