Growing up in Central Delhi, particularly somewhere such as Bengali market which is in close vicinity to Mandi House, is a perfect setting for an artist to bud and bloom. It also automatically brings one closer to art and give them a deeper understanding of what art is. Sunayana Malhotra was born into this privilege. She studied at the Modern School on Barakhamba Road and had a thing for sketching right during her school years. Today, she expresses herself through her paintings and these expressions of hers have made their way across the world.
After her school, Sunayana started going to the many theatres and art galleries in Mandi House such as Kamani Auditorium, Shri Ram Centre and more. Visit to these galleries spiked her interest in painting, although she was already into sketching. These visits also kept her close to different forms of art.
However, she didn't pursue painting seriously until she got married and her children grew up, it was only a hobby she continued pursuing. It wasn't until after she had her first exhibition in Ashoka Art Lounge, New Delhi that she started painting professionally. She tells us that the overwhelming response she received right after her first exhibition not just gave her confidence, but inspired her to do more of what she did.
Most of Sunayana's work revolves around two major themes- the feminine body and the Lotus flower. She is an artist who believes that a lot can be said through the female body figure. "A woman's body has so much to say. We talk so much about what lies above a women's skin but there's so much more that lies beneath her skin. Through my paintings, I try to explore that."
Sunayana also talks to us about Lotus and why is it a recurring element in her work. She believes that the uniqueness of Lotus is that even though it blooms in muddy water, it is still pure and untouched by that mud. "That's how us humans should also strive to be," she says.
For Sunayana, it never happens that an inspiration strikes her, following which she starts to paint. For her, creativity is a constant process and painting is something she does daily. Sunayana also doesn't believe in waiting for the right moment, because for her, painting is a regular practice of work, a part of her daily routine, almost.
According to her, creating one's own identity through work as an artist is very important and that's what she advices to new young artists. For her future pursuits, Sunayana looks forward to experiment with her work and hopes to see herself as an active years for many years to come. She also strives to take her work to more international locations in future.