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    I Want to Live is inspired by the Delhi rape victim

    If love can be a muse, then so can rage. For Delhi-based artist, Surjit Akre, the 2012 gang rape in the city stirred something inA� her. a�?I was very disturbed after I heard about the rape. I started painting my anger on canvas. That is how the I Want to Live collection evolved,a�? says the painter, whoa��s bringing her work to Chennai for a solo exhibition. According to Akre, the figurative paintings highlight the status of women and drives home the point that we need a revolutionary change in the Indian mana��s mindset.

    Akre uses a a�?story-tellinga�� method in her work to get her messages across. Like when she realised how traditional North Indian women are mostly home-bound. a�?a�?It made me highlight the woman in need (in my work). I created a 35-painting museum collection called Knowledge is Power, which is about women who have overcome their anxieties and reached powerful levels,a�? she says.

    Akre is the first Indian to get a scholarship to study a�?Easel Paintinga�� at the Repin Institute of Painting, Russia. a�?When I studied in Russia, we were taught their classical art. I still use that in my paintings,a�? says the artist. a�?Personally, I was always in awe of European and traditional Indian art. My work is a blend of all the three.a�?
    Akre, who hails from arantaran in Punjab, has held over 50 solo exhibitions worldwide, and has worked with a range of mediaa��from acrylic and water colour to pastels and ink. But her favourite is oil on canvas because a�?ita��s very durablea�?.

    At Lalit Kala Academy, December 16 to 22. Details: 28291692
    a��Amrutha Ananth

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