VIDEO: Savita - an artist with spirit and story in Qatar

VIDEO: Savita - an artist with spirit and story in Qatar

Haashmie Doha
By Haashmie Doha

Savita Jhakar, currently based in Doha, is an artist in a league of her own. She has an interesting story to boot that defines her passion.

Qatar Living had the pleasure of getting to know her better and asking what motivates her to paint.

QL: When did you realize that you love painting and drawing?

Savita: I was born in an Indian village, and used to draw and paint from a young age. In India, art is integrated in the culture, especially on main events like childbirth, weddings and other festivals. These occasions always stimulated me to dabble more with colors and drawing.

QL: Did you prefer art over other subjects in school?

Savita: The village where I was born and lived in had classes up till middle school. For further studies continuing from 6th Grade, we had to walk at a distance of several kilometers. This was a tough feat in the summer heat of India. I started experimenting with colors, all from natural surroundings around me. I took color pigments from red bricks, and used burnt wood for black and darker shades.

QL: Did you continue you passion for art in college also?

Savita: I wanted to pursue art but my father wanted me to become a doctor and study medicine. So I obeyed his wishes and enrolled in B.Sc with Physics, Chemistry and Biology as my subjects. After studying for 2 years in these subjects, I discovered a college offering Fine Arts in Delhi. It immediately sparked my interest.

I gave the entrance exam without my parents’ knowledge and succeeded in getting admission. I disclosed it to my parents and explained to my father how art had always been my passion. I told him that I could not focus on being a doctor, as I was sensitive to wounds and pain and in others. My father finally understood and accepted my decision. I left B.Sc during the 3rd year and joined the Fine Arts college in Delhi.

Savita’s journey in exploring her passion for art continues to be interesting, after she moved to Qatar.

She finds most of her inspiration from her natural surroundings. Nature is her teacher. She wakes up in the early hours of the morning and drives to Al Thakhira to watch the sunset and paint it on her colorful canvas. Sunset, sunrise and moonlight all inspire her and she can gaze at these natural phenomena for hours daily. She spends her time on beaches whenever she can and draws inspiration from the sea, the sun and the sand.

Currently Savita is teaching art in two schools, and gives workshops to different age groups of children.

Children are inherently creative, and Savita knows the art of letting them express their creativity through art. She emphasizes that expression through art is very important; especially for people who keep their feelings suppressed, or for children who don't have the vocabulary and know-how to coherently express themselves through words. Art gives space to vent and also to create.

She knows how to encourage children to express themselves, as her own children give her insights into their world daily.

Savita cites the example of a little boy she taught once. The story is chilling, but shows the importance of self-expression. A boy in pre-nursery was always cheerful and mischievous. Then there was a sudden change in his behavior. He became aggressive and would not talk to anyone. His parents were concerned and tried everything to find out what brought the change in the child. Savita was teaching him art at that time. After 4 classes, there was a change in his drawings. In the 5th session, he made a black figure resembling a monster. When Savita asked who that was, he replied it was his driver, and wouldn't say more. After a few more sessions, the little boy's art became darker. When Savita gently urged him to tell her about it, he revealed that his driver had abused him.

It was heartbreaking. But it finally brought to light what the child had been suffering, and helped him and his parents deal with the trauma in time.

Another time, while teaching in Bonaparte, France, a girl with slight disabilities drew beautiful works of art, unlike any Savita had seen before.

Art is a lifesaver. Savita says she gets depressed if she doesn't paint; and gets uplifted as soon as she starts painting. According to her, "An artist is always on a journey to self-realization." Some people find solace in religion, Savita finds comfort in art. That is why art is spiritual and healing for her.

The colors that inspire her the most are orange and dark brown. In Feng Shui and color therapy, orange is a healing color, and also has significance in Buddhism, where monks wear orange. Savita finds orange soothing and inspiring. 

Savita sums up her passion for art beautifully in these words:

"Like an orphan finds a home in parents, I find refuge in art."

All photos and information can be found on Savita's page.

By Molten Metal• 17 Aug 2016 09:18
Molten Metal

A very kind heart person I ve ever come across ....... as a neighbour ....................

By Haashmie Doha• 17 Aug 2016 08:53
Haashmie Doha

Thank you, it was my pleasure writing about her :)

By Rymhassan• 16 Aug 2016 17:06

Truly inspiring story , nice Article , yes she Savita Jakhar Gandash , she is teaching my kids .

By mohamed800• 16 Aug 2016 17:04

Haashmie Doha,

Thank you for sharing this post.

I like the point that She left from medicine in the 03rd year to arts.

That's a brave move and God bless you and your parents.

Doha surely need people in your calibre to talk through Art.

Thank you,

By Haashmie Doha• 16 Aug 2016 16:05
Haashmie Doha

Thanks, she is truly inspiring. I'm not sure, but will ask her next time I meet her.

By britexpat• 16 Aug 2016 14:08

Like it .. Is she also known as Savita Jakhar Gandash ?

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