Before the birth of word and the funeral of silence, art was the medium of expression. Understanding a fellow human being was as simple as a drawing on a rock. Rock art was initially used by primeval men to convey their feelings and thoughts. Long before language became their medium to convey, art belonged to the stones, the rocks and any possible surface where one could paint and draw. Complex brushes and a vast permutation of colours which help artists anchor their thoughts and aesthetic have usually resided near a canvas. Well, a young girl from India did a “throwback” in reality and started her own business of rock-painting. Lo and Behold, she is the youngest stone artist in India.
We interviewed the stone artist Harshita Sharma exclusively about her journey, her passion, her story.
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1.How did you recognise your passion for stone painting? What led you to it?
After I cleared my 12th exam in 2018, I cleared the exam for NIFT however my financial situation was not very great, and I had to take up tuitions at my house to support my family. A lot of my tuition students brought home their school projects and asked for my help. I went ahead and applied my creativity. One day, they brought stones home as a gift and I tried painting on them. They took back their projects to school and told me they were widely appreciated. Tab meine socha ki iske upar kaam karna chahiye.
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2.Did you face any obstacles?
Yes. I did face a lot of opposition from society and people around me. They kept saying “ye sab kaam toh bekaar hai, isse kuch nahi hoga, iska koi fayeda nahi hai, issey acha government job karlo”. It was disturbing to see so many people not support you in something you barely started.
3.Were your parents supportive of you in this journey?
My mother was always supportive. She understood that this was new and rare and wasn’t available in India. I am bringing something new to the culture of my country. My father was not affirmative about it initially. He too felt I was wasting my time and doing something which would not be fruitful. Now, they both are happy and proud of me.
I love collecting rocks. These take it to a whole 'nother level! https://t.co/NIAWJwXZH2
— Traci Van Wagoner (@TraciVanWagoner) December 13, 2020
4.Do you think it was more difficult for you to achieve the same because you’re a woman?
Absolutely, log agree nahi karte. Log taiyaar hi nahi hote kisi women entrepreneur ko accept karne ke liye. Unko lagta hai hum kar nahi sakte hain ye sab. Jaise, mard bahar jaa kar fatafat kaam karlete hain, humei darr lagta hai bahar jaane se. We have to remove this fear. Unless we step out and do what we want, how will we get ahead in life.
5.How do you take inspiration for your work and get ideas for the same?
My mother lends me a lot of ideas. Students who come to my house give me recommendations. And I also get inspired from the world around me. After PUBG was banned, PM Modi said that we need to find a channel so that kids are educated and informed while being entertained. I took a cue from that and created Ratan Tata’s entire life history on paints so that people get informed while looking at art.
6.Is there a message which your work seeks to enunciate?
Definitely. I think one should have self confidence and belief, and jo difficult hai, jo mushkil hai, jo acha lagta hai woh karna chhahiye. I want women to be inspired looking at this and take up doing what they like because we have the reach, the power and the means to do everything we can if we have the courage. We must challenge the notions of society and come up forward to fulfill our dreams.
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— Harshita sharma (@Rockshouter1) November 29, 2020
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