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Painting her Passion
Text by: Pabita Dahal
wow photo file © Gokul Shrees
Visual artist Sabita Dangol completed her Master’s degree in Fine Arts from Central Department of Fine Arts, TU in 2013. She has mastered different genres including Performance Art and Installation Art. The artist is also recipient of various awards including ‘Best Nature Artist’ and ‘Special Fine Arts Award’. One of her paintings was selected at the prestigious 18th Asian Art Biennale in Bangladesh in 2018.
What led you to becoming an artist?
Since my school days I used to draw and doodle but I was not aware of my passion for art. After my SLC, I chose the science stream at Tri-Chandra College. Meanwhile, one of my friends informed me about the Fine Arts Course, and I decided to join it. When I won the second prize in an art competition during my BFA studies at Lalitkala Campus, it encouraged me to choose my path as a professional artist.
Couple series is your signature and most of your paintings are based on the same theme, why?
I work on what touches me deeply. If I work on a subject that I enjoy, I am able to work with spontaneity, originality and my art becomes outstanding. I am getting full appreciation for what I am doing. I have taken the key element of lovers and use of innovative and decorative patterns and symbols. The colours I choose are often soothing and calm. People often wonder at the intricacy of the imagery, the decorative motifs and details in lines. Two things – couple and nature – have influenced my work most. However, it does not mean that I never try other themes. I have tried my hands on themes such as woman rights, violence against women, culture, and heritage, etc
You and your husband are both artists. How do you complement each other?
We are very happy that we are in the same field. We complement each other in each and every area life, not just art. If I were alone, I think I would not have continued my career as an artist.
Tell us about your recent exhibition ‘Embraces’.
‘Embraces’ is another series of my signature art ‘Couple Series’. In this series, I have worked on the ideas of relationships, intimacy and love between a couple.
Is your work influenced by traditional Paubha art?
Of course, I belong to a Newari family and I am influenced by our traditional paintings Paubha and Thangka. But I do not copy the symbols exactly; rather I use them in an innovative form. I use Newari symbolical references like Asta Mangal, Makar, Dhunge Dhara, Bajra, bell, fish, peacock, all in my own way.
How do you view the art scene in Nepal?
There are many artists in Nepal who understand performance art to be only movement of body and gestures. They do not have adequate knowledge of what performance art actually is. I request performance artists to have that knowledge first.
Would you want to change anything in the art scene of Nepal?
I find that there is no unity among artists; group-ism exists. These groups only support artists within a certain circle. The world of Nepali artists is already so small, how can we uplift our art and art culture if we are divided within ourselves? We should support each other. It is especially very tough for newcomers.
Solo exhibition with Siddhartha Art Gallery.
If you hadn’t become an artist what would you do?
I would have loved to be a singer.
Where can we find your work?
My artworks are available in Taragaon Museum, Gallery LA Bouddha and in my studio is art studio, Teku.
Other than art, what do you do in your free time?
I love listening to music and motivational speeches. I am also fond of cooking.