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|Alma mater||College of Art, Delhi|
Early years and education
Geeta was educated at the College of Art, Delhi and started her career with the government owned Cottage Industries, where she worked on commercial assignments.
A chance project with a London-based design house lead on to projects with Pierre Cardin and Christian Dior, amongst other design houses. She had already started working with her mentor, Nehru Fellowship Awardee, Narendra Srivastava. Soon, Geeta left the world of commercial design to start focusing on her real love - painting. Her first exhibition, on concrete poetry, the poetry in the Devnagri script, "Ansh" was held at AIFACS, New Delhi, accompanied by a book of the same name. Ansh was a step in the letterist movement. The work was received by the father of concrete poetry and international concrete poetry expert, Eugen Gomringer, and is permanently placed in the archives in Selbe, Germany.
The First International Exhibitions
At that time, The Indian Council for Cultural Relations, then headed by Amb. P.A. Nazareth, was seeking Indian artists to showcase in their cultural exchange programs to Europe. Geeta's works were selected for their unique Indian ness and ability to relate to Indian scriptures. Her initial exhibitions in Europe were on the Rig Veda, the Isovasya Upanishad and The Bhagwad Geeta. The shows were very well received and commercial exhibitions in Europe followed.
The Festival of Arts
In the late 1980s Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi dreamed up the grand scale "Apna Utsav" - a festival to showcase the best of the Indian arts to the urban Indian audience. Geeta played an important role in the creative planning for this event. The Festival of Arts in Singapore followed, where she experimented with body painting alongside leading ballet artist, Karen Clarke.
Geeta also at this time worked with several leading Indian publishers as creative consultant and designer/ illustrator. Her 5 series book "An Introduction to Art" is used by several schools in India as prescribed text for learning art.
Programs and Exhibitions
35 exhibitions have been held by Geeta in diverse locations such as Paris, Tours, Bonn, Nice, Canberra, Singapore, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, New Delhi. She was elected Fellow of Royal Society of Arts in 2003 and was awarded Bharat Nirman award.
Geeta was the first person to work on the poetry within the Devnagri script in her anthology on Concrete Poetry titled, Ansh. Plates from these are permanently placed in the international archives of Concrete Poetry in Selbe, Germany.
Her initial works on Kabir’s Sakhis, the Bhagvad Geeta and the Isovasya Upanishad were remarkable for their fusion of an Indian spiritual thought with Visual Art.
Geeta Vadhera's "Jogia Dhoop" series was exhibited first in 2003 and comprises calligraphic paintings based on the writings of the Sufi saints—Rumi, Bulleh Shah, Kabir, Shah Niaz, and Shah Taaji amongst others. The painting on the right, "Main Vich Main", is from this series. In this poem, Bulleh Shah says, ever since I became one with the Almighty, I, as myself, ceased to exist: "Jadon di main jogi di hoi, main vich main na rah gai koi". This particular painting is in a private collection in the UK.
In 2006, Geeta's work, Waqt Waqfa, from the "Tharro Thar" collection was auctioned by Christie's in New York at the Indo American Arts Council art auction prior to the sixth film festival to benefit the Indian arts.
"Shah Shabad" is a series based on the works of Bulleh Shah, who was a Punjabi Sufi poet, a humanist and philosopher from the 17th Century. "Qalb Qudrat" an exhibition at the heart of nature was exhibited at the Jumeirah Emirates Tower, Dubai .
Awards and Positions
- Vice President, Lioness Club
- Member, All India Women’s Association
- Member, India International Center
- Managing Trustee, Sarvodaya International Trust
- Chief Designer and Fashion Co ordinator, Export Division, Central Cottage Industries Corporation, New Delhi
- Creative planner, Festival of Arts, New Delhi – produced curtain raiser audio visual – which was presented to Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, then Prime Minister
- TV producer with Doordarshan India – produced weekly “Arts Diary”
- Radio producer with All India Radio and BBC External Services, New Delhi.
- Released Book titled ” Ansh”; an anthology of pœms based on Concrete Pœtry
- Released series of 5 books – “An Introduction to Art” conceived and designed for children
- Awarded Bharat Nirman Award for important contribution in the field of Art, New Delhi
Modern Indian painting Geeta Vadhera on a panel discussion on promoting India’s artistic inspiration post COVID sponsored by CII and Horasis < http://www.cii.in/ResourceDetails.aspx?enc=EX8s5lxpzv72XnDxpbmRfPy0cND0bZO8s7sRX0XnPfIHxP8Z8Rov5G60bQuVthPJNuMiqGZEfJhDx2BAjCdpV3UzDl9z8j3RmK44XFLUtFowCk2PuJZl5b9BPWv2SQI3lversYY7emZnkmKJY/2JB0YBJQkfM9HeQuBcD9qs0SiHv/nmYggKycknbfaxdHER> <http://horasis.org/horasis-india-meeting/> Watch the panel discussion here < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAtRLhwqSpA&list=PLxI3Fz5ugBVyd4utiYVGfhUmNJvuQITBA&index=16>
9. <http://bharatnirman.org/awards.html> 1995 awardee