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Deepmala Maharjan – PAINTING FEMINISM

Compiled by: Pabita Dahal

Deepmala Maharjan goes beyond the canvas and uses a variety of mediums to express her ideas. She has worked as an illustrator for youth magazines in the country, participated in several workshops and group exhibitions including a residency program at Gallery Mcube and Classic Gallery, and is also working as an art instructor at the Community Children Art School.
Excerpts from the conversation with the multi talented artist:

When did you realise that you wanted to become an artist?

As a child, I was not very good at art but my father constantly encouraged me to draw and paint. Every now and then, he would gift me different kinds of painting equipment and colours. After completing my SLC, he enrolled me at the Lalitkala Campus. As I started learning, I discovered that art was more difficult than I imagined it to be and here I started to develop a strong interest in the arts.

An artist who inspires you…

I am very much inspired by the way Frida Kahlo expresses her life through art. I feel her work reflects honesty.

What is your style of painting?

Mostly, my works are figurative and I focus on depicting social issues. Once I decide on the social issue, I choose the medium of expression accordingly.

What kind of issues are you currently focused on?

Currently, I am interested in all the dynamics surrounding gender issues such as superstition, taboos, oppression, discrimination, violence. This might be the result of my experience as a woman living in a highly oppressive society. Although I have not had firsthand experience of oppression, what I read and hear affects me very deeply.

Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?

I will continue painting and reflect feminism through my work. I am sure I will get better at expressing my ideas.

What are the visual trends that you predict for 2019?

I see many more forms of art surfacing in 2019 such as installation art, performing art, conceptual art, video installation art, etc. I think in the coming days, artists will explore more mediums to express their views on different social issues rather than just paint their inner feelings.

Art is…

Art is a voice for me. Through this, I speak my mind. I try to comment analytically on social issues, especially gender issues. I wish to start a debate on hidden issues on gender dynamics through my art.

Do you use technology in your work?

I really wish to but I have not done much yet. I have only done one video installation so far.

Have you ever had a moment when you questioned your career as an artist?

I had many moments when I questioned myself as an artist. Mostly when it is difficult to portray my idea in visual form. I do question myself even now. However when I come up with the solution I feel confident.

If not an artist what would you be

A writer.

Other than art, what do you do in your free time?

I love to read books and watch movies.

What makes your work stand out?

 My concepts and issues. I don’t work on repetitive themes, style, colour palette or technique.

Where can one find your work? 

When I am not having an exhibition, one can view my works in my studio and at the Classic Art Gallery in Chakupat, Patan. One can also see some of my work on my  facebook page.