Artist Soghra Khurasani on why her paintings are filled with passion and protest.
She may come across as shy, even soft-spoken, but when it comes to her art, Soghra Khurasani is anything but. The Vadodara-based artist, who is exhibiting her third solo work, Cratered Fiction, at InKo Centre, is vociferous with her woodcut prints on paper—they are almost like emotional outbursts, depicting her frustration at how society treats personal freedom and women’s rights. “Every day we see how women are being treated—the violence, the discrimination. But they do so much, they give their bodies for the next generation; we need to give them respect,” says Khurasani, speaking to me from Khoj, where she is participating in an Indo-Iranian residency and experimenting with photography. “When I give expression to my thoughts, the way I handle my tools is quite hard. And I find it easier to let it all out on wood,” she says, adding it takes her over a month to make one woodcut print.
While her first two solo projects came out in the aftermath of the Delhi rape—where she used the violence of volcanoes to portray turmoil—her latest is a more cathartic one. The craters show what happens after the “eruptions”, the more silent protests and the change that can come from giving women equal voices. “I have so many colours in my studio, but I gravitate towards reds and pinks as they denote passion,” says the 32-year-old, who will also be displaying her wood blocks, so people can get a better idea of how she works. Organised as part of Emerging Frame, InKo’s arts-in-partnership initiative with select galleries across India, this exhibition is with Mumbai’s Tarq Gallery.
From July 13 to August 16. Details: 24361224
—Surya Praphulla Kumar