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  • Writer's pictureUrvashi Singh

LOCKDOWN SPECIAL: ART: #30DaysOfThar with Shelja Singh

Ever since I can remember, I have enjoyed sketching and water colours. Upon growing up, I was certain about pursuing the field of art and design, and proceeded to pursue a degree at the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Gandhinagar. Soon after my graduation, I got married and moved to the United Kingdom for a few years, where I pursued an art degree at the University of the Arts in London. During my time there, I also got the chance to work for high street fashion brands such as H&M and TopShop. I didn’t waste a single opportunity when it came to soaking in the rich art, music and theatre culture in the historic British capital. Since my husband is a polo player, I accompanied him on his travels abroad and further immersed myself in the diverse cultures of the world.

Upon returning, I retained my keen and ever-growing love for all things creative. In 2017, I launched my dream project in the form of a lifestyle store, Gulenar in Udaipur, which is an outlet that offers ethically-sourced slow fashion and lifestyle products. I had also considered painting on numerous occasions over the past few years, but didn’t manage to do so because of my busy routine. Soon, the concept of time dissolved under the imposition of a lockdown, and I have been privileged enough to rekindle my love for painting.

The lockdown months constitute that time of the year that I usually spend in Jodhpur. The present situations have prevented any possibility of me making a homebound journey, but have intensified my longing for the sights and sounds of my homeland in Marwar.

This longing inspired me to launch a series of water colour paintings which I labelled as #30DaysOfThar, flora and fauna of the Thar desert. The online response to this series of mine has been overwhelming and has encouraged me to make it available at Gulenar in the time to follow.

I invite all my viewers to purchase these prints or request for customised illustrations by e-mailing me on Alternatively, I can be contacted via Instagram as @shelja__singh or @gulenarstore.

Before I sign off, I’d like to share the biggest take back from this series, which has been the large number of people that have contacted me to express how my artwork has inspired them to dedicate time to their own creative talents, which have thus far remained dormant.

The deep and personal connect that my artwork has fostered amongst its audience has been immensely humbling.


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