Priya Pariyani, current icon in the art industry based at Ahmedabad is one such icon whose story can inspire millions like us. It is rightly said that, “Only those who dream, can achieve”, which is truly reflected by the dreamer in her. Priya was born to a family which migrated from Sindh (Now Pakistan) to Mumbai and then Ahmedabad. Art was somehow in her genes through her Grandfather use to run literature & language classes during those times when Gujarat was just the land of businesses (it still is!).
Being an artist in those times was not so-mainstream & people use to consider it as bottleneck in economic contribution to the family. In such challenging era, Priya, who has a heart of a warrior, decided to become an Artist. Formally, Priya holds a master’s in commerce and was always inclined towards art. Her family always supported her to stand by her feet. This somehow dragged her to work as a stenographer & typist with the most reputed companies of those times, the India of the early 90’s.
“Your life is actually the sum of the people near you”, something like this also happened in her story. Her art talent was some-how sensed by a very a Senior Artist based in Ahmedabad, who was her sister’s Guru too. Priya used to sketch, paint and submit her art works to Shri. Halari which was truly guided and appreciated by him through all stages. It was this consistency which brought her to believe in her natural talent and focus on the conscience which was signaling her another way of life.
For a longer period of time, Priya managed to work as stenographer and create art, but passion cannot be on hold for long after realization. The more, Priya was getting in creating art, the faster her heart wanted to catch this route of creation as an Artist full time. Her passion drove her to take the route of her heart and that is where a Self-Made Artist was born. For the love of art & design, Priya started working under the guidance of Shri Ramesh Halari to learn Graphic Designing in 1995. Priya started her journey of Creation with graphic designing which was not so popular in those days. She started designing and creating logo, cover pages, book designs. This made her love with art deeper. More art works meant more happiness to her, which is still the same.
She started her art career with a first Solo exhibition in 1999 at Ravishankar Kala Bhavan, Ahmedabad, where 36 of her oil in canvas paintings were exhibited for 6 days based on theme of women. She always believed in doing normal things differently. During the exhibition, she placed each painting with a description and title which was not the trend or rule during those days, but her heart somehow wanted to do that. While knowing this from her she expressed her one of the ideology, “Jab koi nahi karta toh koi toh aisa hoga jo karega”. This small act of keeping art with the description created a huge connect with her audiences during her show which resulted to the huge success of her first Solo Show. After the completion of the show, The Gujarat Magazine, which used to be very popular editorial, published her art works. The connection with the magazine and Priya’s Art became stronger enough that they take her picture or her achievement every fortnightly to be published since past 18 years.
This show gave Priya an identity, helped her know her strength and her focus areas. She understood the value she can contribute through her art in the society to bring awareness. Since then, there was nothing stopping Priya to achieve the heights of her Dream as a Great Artist. Her creativity was the element of recognition in the Women Art category.
In 2000, A Puppet Artist recommended Priya’s name for a show done by Ms. Mallika Sarabhai. Mallika Sarabhai had to select very few art works but after looking at the collection, she picked more 12 of her art works which was a symbol of success to Priya. While sharing this, we could still sense the joy which boosted her confidence. She received massive media coverage for the art show curated by Ms. Mallika Sarabhai, which opened her doors to explore the art beyond her state, Gujarat. After that, Priya started doing shows in Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad & other cities. She also has done her shows in US, UK & Canada.
Since them, Priya has done 18 Solo Exhibitions, more than 50 group exhibitions & has been awarded with more than 20 achieving awards & grants. She has been recently awarded with Udgam Women Achievers award in Art & Culture, 2018. Let us see what Priya has to share more in a quick Q&A format to know her a little closer, the face behind the Art fraternity of the City.
We: How do you Define Yourself?
Priya: I am someone who has always done what her heart liked without any rules and regulations. I believe they were never meant for me. I am someone who will do everything to make the impossible possible through continuous hard work & dedication. I believe, I am a positive opportunist, who has never missed any opportunity coming her way. To sum, Priya is confident, perfection lover, continuous hustler, Family oriented & an Adventurous Honest soul.
We: What are your Ideologies for life?
Priya: I believe in the principle of continuation. If you want something, just go get it with complete hard work. I believe things which are worth will take time to build. Keep the patience, let things be created in its own beauty. I strictly reflect Honesty in all my actions and consider it as a Virtue.
We: What do you do in your rest of the time?
Priya: Creating Art is my true love. But, I like the process of designing, Fashion is one such field which I like doing the most. In addition to curating large Art shows, I like doing Photography, craft & getting inspired from Music.
We: What are the family challenges you have faced as an Artist?
Priya: Family is someone who gives you strength. They will always give you, once you show them the value. Initially, my family also was little tough during my initial days but, when your art starts speaking, all the problems with family, friends & society somehow just go away as they start seeing the value & potential of the person. I never got time to think about a family beyond my biological one, hence I have never tasted the different experiences of a love life, as my first love has always been Art.
We: What is your message to the New upcoming artists?
Priya: I believe they should change their group of working to rejuvenate the creativity within. They should always focus on creating a value instead of initially thinking about the business. The initial days are very tough & they will make you realize the hard facts of life, but in those days, stick to the process and keep doing it continuously. Life as an artist isn’t very rosy, the young generation needs to be stronger & determined. Their only point of influence should be their art admirers and themselves instead of other people who can create hurdles through lot of political strategy. I encourage the youth to do more Solo Exhibitions for more space of their art work. I want to guide them the right way in every possible way.
Her life is truly an icon to get inspired from. She is humbled & is very creative to bring the best from anyone.
This was the story of a self-taught Artist with more than 20 years of excellence, an artist born on Valentines day with a forever heart filled with romance of Art.
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