They say ‘your only limitations are those that you set on yourself’. To attempt to define some people just by their work is to do them a great disservice. Brindarica Bose, an accomplished artist, writer, mother of two cannot be confined to just these labels. Her various talents and her keen interest in sharing her knowledge with those around her led her to teach art professionally, and create art for charitable causes. She draws inspiration from nature, from emotions, from people, and from a strong belief that, despite all challenges and time crunch, if you want to do something in life, you really can.
An early introduction to fine arts
Brindarica spent her early childhood in Mumbai, India. Early on, at the age of 4 or 5, she would observe her mother’s artistic pursuits in drawing, sewing, embroidery, and was inspired to pick up the pencil and begin drawing. A few years on, her family moved to Kolkata, where Brindarica was enrolled in an art school, Chitrabhanu, where she was taught pencil sketching, still life, composition, pastel, watercolour, and sculpting with clay. “I still remember grumbling when I had to leave Sunday cartoons on TV and attend my art classes, twice every week for 2.5 hours each session.”, she reminisces.
Her family moved again, this time to Ranchi. As a teenager, Brindarica continued going to weekend art classes and visited several local artists and art teachers to learn from their vast experience.
At 20, she and her sister began their own art class, and since then, she has loved teaching and sharing her knowledge with other art enthusiasts. She pursued her Masters in Fine Arts and continued taking part in art exhibitions organized by young artists in Ranchi. She also taught art in two schools.
The move to Switzerland and the pursuit of art
Brindarica moved to Switzerland after her marriage with Srijit. She started working as a publications manager, and after her sons, Adhrit and Jeet were born, she began working part-time from her home-office.
Beginning with her first solo exhibition in 2012, Brindarica has held solo exhibitions in Dietikon and Wohlen, donating 50% of the profits to charity.
Brindarica recalls meeting an elderly Swiss art teacher at an exhibition in Dietikon. She was invited to attend his class, where he gifted her some books and eventually introduced her to his art colleagues. Over the years, he has been a mentor to her and was also the chief guest at her exhibition in Wohlen, in 2016.
In 2015, Brindarica joined MigrosKlubschule as an Art Teacher for adults and kids. In 2017, she began Brinda’s Art Classes and Workshops. She describes her classes, “We learn the grammar – pencil shading, learning how to draw figures, composition, perspective, colour theory – and apply it into practice. We also go outdoors to paint. We select topics based on personal preference and produce canvases with acrylics, mixed media.”
Recently, Brindarica was part of the international group exhibition held in Basel in December 2017. In early 2018, her paintings got accepted at international watercolour exhibitions in India and Italy. Brindarica is also a passionate urban sketcher and a member of the Swiss Urban Sketching Group.
Brindarica finds it hard to pick a favourite medium. She says, “When I sketch with a pencil or pen, I am in love with that; when I paint with watercolours, I can’t think beyond that medium, and the same with oils and acryls.”. She enjoys the process of getting paint and stains on her hands all the time, to the extent that she often picks up burnt wood from barbeque parties – to use natural charcoal as a medium.
Some of her artistic idols include Jamini Roy for his unique style, Vincent Van Gogh for his vibrant colours, Claude Monet for his perseverance and impressionistic style, Giovanni Segantini and Ferdinand Hodler for their Swiss landscapes.
Donning many hats
When she isn’t earning accolades for her art, Brindarica invests her time in other hobbies. Writing has been Brindarica’s childhood passion, she has just published her first book of short stories ‘Swiss Masala’. It is a compilation of 15 stories, mainly based on expat Indian families’ lives in Switzerland.
Brindarica has also been an active member of the ‘Swisspuja’ organising committee. She was mainly responsible for the ‘Swisspuja Patrika’, an annual magazine, that is published in three languages – English, Bengali and German.
This year, she will be joining hands with a few talented women and starting a monthly workshop for kids in Oerlikon, Zurich. Called as ‘Wonder Kids’, the workshops will provide a creative platform for young kids, with activities ranging from sketching, science, storytelling to dancing.
Brindarica is also part of a group of women who call themselves, ‘High Heels’. They provide a platform to nurture creativity, and as working mothers take some time off over a cup of coffee, or exchange good books. The group also enjoys playing ‘Holi’ right in the centre of Zurich!
On managing a work-life balance
We asked Brindarica how she manages to juggle all her projects and family, “Prioritise!”, she says, “Simplify the work process! And go for it! A day has 24 hours, and if you really care, there is potential to achieve many things. Filtering out energy and time ‘draining factors’ is also important. Surround yourself with positive people and attitudes and that will also boost your morale.”
Brindarica encourages a positive, disciplined attitude towards pursuing your hobbies, “When my boys were younger, I was often tired to the limit, and suffered, but didn’t give up. I kept painting, or writing, along with family responsibilities and office. Giving up is so easy, holding on to something, takes real passion. Use your time and energy selectively. Be disciplined.” She also says, “Dreaming is an important element of life. So, try to devote some time to achievement of your dreams, if not on weekdays at-least on the weekends.”
Brindarica also firmly believes in the division of household responsibilities among family members. Running a family is a long-term team project and burdening one member more will always bring resentment or health issues in the long-term. “Running a household efficiently needs intelligence and an entire team – not just one person! You need to have shared tasks. Breadwinner and Breadmaker – these roles are no more gender-specific.” Know more about Brindarica’s paintings and writings here.
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