Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Twenty-eight-year-old Eshita Nimje was under treatment for clinical depression till four months back. She, however, continued to indulge in her favourite hobby even during that dark phase. Painting not only helped her overcome depression but two of her acrylic works, made when she was battling depression, have been selected for country’s first India Art, Architecture and Design Biennale.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the eight-day event organised by the Union Culture Ministry at Red Fort in New Delhi from December 8-15. It will also be a prelude to the prestigious Biennale Arte 2024 to be held at Venice, Italy. A self-taught artist, Eshita who studied software engineering is a cyber security consultant. “I haven’t done any professional courses in arts.
As a teenager, I used to participate in workshops organised by IGRMS in Bhopal and that probably fuelled my interest in painting,” she told Free Press. Her paintings are inspired by Gond and Bhil art forms. Eshita who got sucked into depression due to relationship issues said, “Painting was like an escape route, a safety valve.” Of Eshita’s three entries to be displayed in Delhi and then in Venice, two were made when she was being treated for depression and the one later. One titled, Shattered Psyche: Layers of Desolation, depicts a fractured face and is a stark portrayal of depths of depression, capturing tumultuous emotions and anguish within. The other, “Harmony within Chaos... A Meditative Transformation, illustrates impact of meditation on mental health. The third selected work is on Lord Vishnu’s Matsya Avatar, which was made after she recovered. Eshita works as a software engineer because art doesn’t pay enough. “But I am happy that I am able to do what I love doing,” she said.