An artist who has won the UAE’s heart:
“A picture is a poem without words” –Horace.
When a popular media house based in the UAE, the nation, has declared the name of the winner of its UAE national day art competition, every Indian has sang with joy, at least silently, as in the competition a brilliant artist from the Indian state of Kerala, Nissa Riyas, has arrived in the top position as the winner of the competition.
If the rarest of the rare achievement is what that has made her dear to the heart of every Indian, it is the concept that she has portrayed that has made her close to the heart of every UAE citizen.
Her art work has compared the enviable growth of the UAE with the natural process of the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to butterfly.
Let’s hear what this artist has to say to the world.
What is it that encouraged you to compare the UAE’s journey towards the helm of the Middle East with the natural process of the metamorphosis of butterfly?
It is the forty seventh time the UAE has celebrated its National Day. This is my seventeenth year in Dubai. Since the first day I reached here, I have been witnessing growth. I am sure that the next year’s UAE will be far different than this year’s UAE. It is the dedication and hard work that have helped the land to achieve this much growth within a short span of time.
How long have you been working as a professional artist?
I love art since my childhood days. For last fifteen years, I have been working as a professional artist. I am not from a fine arts educational background. It is the guidance that I have received from several highly talented masters that has helped me to mould my skills. Currently, I am pursuing the degree of Masters in Fine Arts from a London based university through online.
What is your professional goal?
I want to create a masterpiece and set a benchmark like the one created by the legends of the field such as Leonardo da Vinci. I want the future generations to remember me through my masterpiece.
What is it that you what to achieve from your ambitious ongoing project ‘The Artist Network’?
There are many artists whose are less fortunate to showcase the world how talented they are. The network aims to lend a hand to every young and struggling artist. It helps them get the recognition they deserve. In every program the network organises, it introduces a new artist.
The network also pledges at least twenty-five per cent of the profit it receives from their programs to charity purpose.
Who is your favourite artist?
Salvador Dali is my favourite artist. Each and every work of Artist Dali is unique and different. Most of his works are the true representation of his personal experiences; that makes them exceptional.
What is it that goes through your mind when you approach a new work?
I find my content from my surroundings and personal experiences. I believe it is a destiny that brings me close to each subject.
I met a cancer patient several years ago. It was after two years since I met her I decided to draw her. That time that was not me, who acted inside me, it was her.
Have you ever experienced any kind of discrimination in your field on the basis of the gender?
In Kerala, women artist are not encouraged in the way they are appreciated in the other places. But, there are many people there who respect art and encourage real artists irrespective of their gender.
Actually, in this field, there is no gender. Personally, I have not faced any serious gender discrimination.
In fact, in the National Day competition those who have been defeated by me are the prominent male artists in the field. If there is any discrimination, I would not have made that achievement.
In this field, nothing has more importance than real talent.
Which country offers more freedom for artists to express their thoughts through their art works fearlessly? India or the UAE
In that case, our country is better. In Dubai, there are several limitations. In India, artists have absolute freedom to work on anything that comes to their mind.
I once personally experienced to what extent the UAE could interfere in the freedom of artists, when my painting was rejected from an art exhibition, held in this country, in the name of the description I gave to that picture that the women in the country must be bring to the forefront of the society with the help of education.
What is your message to aspiring artists?
Don’t chase money or fame. Hard work is the key to success. You may face several rejections. Be confident about yourself. All professional artists, including myself, have fought several struggles to reach where they are now. Nothing happens overnight.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up” –Pablo Picasso.
Vignesh. S. G
Photo Courtesy: Google/ images are subject to copyright