What do two creative professionals do when they go through a tough phase in their lives? They usually turn their angst into one more creative endeavour. That is precisely what Neela Shete and her husband Nitin, two hardened advertising professionals, have done. In fact, they have gone a step further and even involved other creative people, award-winning artists like Houserao Patil, Yashwant Shirwadkar and Sonalli Iyengar, Devyani Parikh, sculptor Ashok Gaur, Neela Shete, Palash Haldar among others, for their unique project. The purpose behind the attempt is simple – creating an art collection that brings to the fore the myriad colours of life and beyond. And that exactly what their inauguration at the Coomaraswamy Hall at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya illustrated — it had serene images of Lord Buddha to lush valleys and the ancient architecture of Banaras to Rabindranath Tagore on view.
Other than curator Nitin Shete, wrestler Sangram Singh, Payal Rohatgi, artists of the likes of Padmanabh Bendre, Amisha Mehta, Prakash Bal Joshi, Houserao Patil, Devyani Parikh, Ashok Gaur, Vishwa Sahni, Madhusudan, Gunjan Cowlagi, Madhumita Bhattacharya, Shabana Chawla, Sonali Chaudhuri among other were present at the venue,
It was a personal tragedy which triggered Neela’s journey into the art world. What began as a deep, spiritual quest that took her across various parts of the globe, later turned into an even deeper desire to express this inner journey on to the canvas. And thus began her abiding fascination with Buddha. “Buddha to me is what we need today — peace, tranquility and happiness globally,” says Neela. And sure enough, every single art work of hers unfailingly captures the calmness and serenity of Buddha in all its glory,” elaborated Neela Shete
Besides, celebrating spirituality, Neela has also made sure that the exhibition also touches upon other beautiful aspects of life. Noted painter Houserao Patil took the viewer into the lap of nature with his lush, deep, green valleys, meandering rivers and pink trees, Sonalli Iyengar revelled in her village scenes, while also commenting on evolving social issues.
Yashwant Shirwadkar, on the other hand, stunned the viewer with his magical landscapes and the architectural marvels of Banaras and Rajasthan, making Nitin Shete’s exhibition a kaleidoscope of stunning images. “art transcends borders and is universal. I want that spirit to reflect in our exhibition.”
It looked like the spirit was really reflected, for Payal Rohatgi sportingly made sure she was at the exhibition on time and spent her time viewing the works despite her leg injury that restricted her movement to a great extent.