Express what you feel

Alisha Shinde
Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Artist Neha Asher talks about using various art mediums to help people heal and inculcate values

Art is an immersive process and there are a few who have an innate ability to explore it, and come up with something ingenious. Neha Asher belongs to this tribe. Asher has over two decades of experience in teaching art forms like painting, murals, sculpting, embroidery to adults and children. The artist who has her studio, Asher’s Art Corner, has contributed to the beautification of Viman Nagar, Pune Airport and the surrounding areas to a great extent. She also uses art as a therapy in helping heal distressed souls. Here’s more about Asher... 

“Art helps you heal. It not only helps you understand what you are going through but also becomes a readily available medium to express what you truly feel. A canvas is what sets our emotions free, the way we paint, the colours we use, are all related to the emotions that we feel,” she says. Art can reflect feelings that are buried deep in our subconscious. 

Asher’s objective has always been to use art as a therapy to heal those who are disturbed or distressed for various reasons. She says that she has come across a lot of people who were healed by the power of art, right from a person who lost her memory in an accident to another woman who felt lonely. 

People are often moved by visuals and learn quickly from them. Asher believes in applying art to one’s day to day life to inculcate values in families, especially children. “When a family sits together to create something, they automatically gel together. It facilitates a social connectivity amongst the people,” she adds.

Mentioning an incident, Asher says that when she undertook the beautification project of Pune Airport, many people reacted positively to the murals. “After seeing the artwork which left a positive impact on them, people consciously started respecting their surroundings at the airport and keeping them clean,” she points out. 

Apart from being a visual element to teach people what is right and what is not, art most importantly teaches one to be responsible towards society, feels Asher. “Art is a way of giving back to society and the nature in general,” she says. Before Ganesh festival, the artist organises free workshops to teach people how to make eco-friendly Ganesh idols and elaborates on the different materials that can be used, along with their benefits.

“We embed a seed in the mud/clay idol. So when it is immersed in a pot at home, and layered with soil, the seed can grow into a sapling,” she adds. 

Gone are the days when art was considered to be a hobby only for children. “Art is for everyone, no matter the age or gender,” Asher says. She points out that art brings out the best in you at any age and makes you happy, in turn spreading happiness in society. “My mission in life is to make art available for all,” she says, mentioning that she holds workshops for senior citizens who enjoy colouring and drawing on the canvas. “It just makes them so happy.” 

Asher says that the Indian society is becoming more and more appreciative and respecting of artists and the work that they do.

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