Artworks that are often inspired by an artist’s past experience are the ones which stand out the most. This is especially true in the case of the Hyderabad-born artist Gouri Vemula, and that is what got her work of art Whistle Blower the National Academy Award at the 60th National Exhibition of Art held recently in New Delhi. She was the only female artist among the 15 winners who were selected by a two-tier jury
Elaborating on her winning artwork and journey, Gouri said, “This is my third time participating in the competition. Although I had sent in a painting the first time, I played to my strengths this time and took inspiration from my childhood experiences. Even its title, Whistle Blower, is a reminiscence of my school days when I was part of the volleyball team as a captain. A national level athlete had come to coach us and we were busy being kids and playing instead of listening to his advice. I have tried to capture all the drama in the artwork. And I think that the jury saw the emotion in it. I am really happy for this recognition of not only being the only one from the state of Telangana to win it but also to be the only female artist to win this year,” she says.
The artist holds a Master’s degree in Print Making from the Sarojini Naidu School of Arts, Hyderabad University, and has completed her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts (Painting) from the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University. Additionally, she has also completed the Drawing Master’s course from Shri Vijaymahantesh Lalit Kala Mahavidyalaya, Hubli, Karnataka. However, Gouri fell in love with art only after she finished her studies. “When my father asked me what I wanted to pursue, I told him that I wanted to draw and sketch. At art school, we’d sketch at least four pieces every day and that has helped me a great deal to work with minute precision in my printmaking works,” she shared.
Most of her works are surreal and mythical in nature, and a lot of technique and patience goes behind the completion of her work. “Art is something I am passionate about. Printmaking involves the use of a lot of scrap metal and materials from different sources and also working in a proper studio, but the end result is 100 per cent worth it,” concludes Gouri....