COVID Creative Events, Projects / May 29, 2021


By Dr Sushma Sabnis

Let me first introduce myself.

I was born and brought up in Mumbai and ventured into watching three films in a day during my days as a medical student. 

I was interested in the visual world and in people from a young age. I won an award from Bombay’s JJ School of Art , (founded in 1857), at 9 years of age. But for almost 40 years of my life, I never even held a painting brush in my hand.

It was only much later, that I completed my BA in the University of Arts, London. This happened towards my retirement after 35 years of serving the NHS as a doctor.

In 2020, I felt privileged when I was approached by the South Asian Cinema Foundation (SACF) regarding their project on the ‘Vanity Fair’.

Frankly, I was not inspired to paint by any of the personalities featured in the magazine between 1868-1914. However, when I considered the timeframe when  Vanity Fair had been a fashionable British publication, I was most delighted to find some personalities who had been visiting London who had always been an inspiration to me and I had revered since my childhood. 

I really enjoyed creating each portrait from among such personalities.

Thanks to the organisers of SACF for giving me this opportunity.

Poet Philosopher Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)

Hazrat Inyat Khan (1882-1927)

Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902)

Maharani Chimnabai II of Baroda (1871-1958)

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