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Butterfly stroke

A kitten pulling faces,an elephant chilling under a tree or a fat cow in a bathtub. How does that sound for art? “We gifted our nephew a canvas painting.

Written by Sharon Fernandes | Published: February 1, 2009 3:16 am

Butterflies,a cow in a bathtub,an ambling giraffe and other animals brighten up the walls of Anshu Morarka and Samira Khandelwal’s art gallery for children

A kitten pulling faces,an elephant chilling under a tree or a fat cow in a bathtub. How does that sound for art? “We gifted our nephew a canvas painting. It was put in his room when he was just three months old and he loved it. He would keep staring at it and smiling. We gifted a painting to a friend and she says her kid eats only when the painting is before her,” says Anshu Morarka.

Morarka didn’t just stop at gifting paintings. Last year,she and her sister Samira Khandelwal opened an art gallery for children,Kroma,in Shahpur Jat. “We feel that babies are smarter than we think they are and they should be surrounded by art that they can relate to,” says Samira on why cows and elephants are more appealing canvases for children than a bunch of sunflowers in a vase.

The colourful paintings by Bangkok-based Monchai Kosolpradit are sent across to the sisters’ studio in Delhi. “We first saw paintings of this sort on our trip to Bali and thought it would be a great idea to stock them up in India. We contacted Kosolpradit and he now makes these paintings for us. We make customised paintings for people’s homes too.”

Morarka,who worked with an insurance bank till a year ago,and Khandelwal,an LSE graduate,say they have found many takers for ‘children’s art’. “There is a niche audience but we sell a lot of paintings. Parents like to indulge their kids,” says Khandelwal. The paintings range from Rs 5,000 to a lakh.

“ It is an educational investment. And it is also about parents themselves who like these paintings. Each piece is unique. A parent can point out to the animals or a butterfly drawn in the painting and the kids associate with it and the cheerful colours and feel the texture of the canvas,” says Morarka.

With the sisters having already hosted two exhibitions,they are proud of the cows,dogs,butterflies and puppies that frame their studio. “We are hoping parents will get their children along. It is great to see how they appreciate the art work,” says Samina.

But in these times of cost cutting,would parents empty their wallets on a painting for children? “Parents like to indulge their children. We sell over ten paintings in a month,” she says.

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