Arunima Choudhury is one of the celebrated woman artists in India who works with a wide range of mediums, combining nature with femininity. Growing up in the abundance of nature in the hills of Dooars and Darjeeling, nature has become her lifelong source of inspiration. However, the relationship between nature and the world of her feminine sensibilities is complex, and she explores it in connection to human desire, society and ecological crises of our times.
A graduate of the Indian College of Arts and Draftsmanship, Kolkata, where she was trained in academic realism under the guidance of Bikash Bhattacharya, Arunima Choudhury, however, was inspired by the Santiniketan artists – their love for nature and experiments with indigenous mediums and styles. She follows their alternative artistic philosophy, in which art and craft, tradition and modernity are closely integrated. Her recent eco-prints and enamel paintings show her interest in exploring medium-specific crafts in mainstream modern art practices.
Woman recurs in her paintings throughout her career. It is connected to the feminist discourse, the recognition and celebration of femininity beyond the patriarchal imagination, and the artist’s psychic life marked by trauma, memory and desire. There is the boldness of expression and, simultaneously, an effort to conceal the wounds beneath the grace of beauty, which makes the meaning of her paintings layered and complex. She has long been working with botanic colours on handmade papers. She makes the colours from flowers, vegetables and seeds, giving her work freshness and a rare organic feel. Many of her works show her intimate association with the rich literary culture of Bengal.