It was about two years ago when Gurugram-based painter and photographer Manisha Gera Baswani visited Ladakh with her family.
Published: 01st October 2022 08:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st October 2022 08:18 AM   |  A+A-
Manisha Gera Baswani
It was about two years ago when Gurugram-based painter and photographer Manisha Gera Baswani visited Ladakh with her family. Amid scenic views, Baswani sat near Pangong Lake and sketched the landscape she witnessed around her. “It is one of my most sublime memories,” she shares. Her escapades have always been sources of inspiration for Baswani, and her travel experiences keep finding place in her work. In this interview, the artist gets candid about her memories and more.

Excerpts…
Her earliest travel memories…
Growing up in Delhi, the one thing I remember vividly are picnics to Qutub Minar with friends—our parents would take us. We would play, have a lot of peanuts… that time we could even climb the broken monument. We’d always have a radio with us. That is my sweetest memory. Other things—people still do that—walking at India Gate at night and eating orange bar ice cream. I think such memories stay alive for a lot of us [who] our age. 
Outside the city, I remember visiting Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu, with family because I’ve gone and seen it so many times—on a college trip, as a practising artist—but going back to the place is like re-reading a book you had since childhood. The same image starts speaking to you in other ways; it’s the same story but it speaks to you differently. Every time I visit Mahabalipuram, it adds to the memory of the first [visit] and many more experiences. Now, of course, there is so much to learn artistically—I did not realise the impact it would have on my work as a child. 
On travel inspiring her work…
Travel consistently keeps coming up in my work. Sometimes it is directly, as was in the case of Mandu, Madhya Pradesh—I did a whole series on Mandu. Even Ladakh. Other times, travel rekindles a creative thought and makes you come back to the drawing board with a renewed energy. While it may not directly inspire life, but—the trees, nature—it is inspiring enough to make you go back and create in your studio. Anything outside the studio will add to your experience.  
On the experiences that she seeks…
I am open to anything and everything, be it travelling local or seeking adventures. I have been a sportsperson all my life. 
I want to explore the country more. With COVID, I think we realised that to travel, we do not necessarily need to go out of the country because there is so much to see here. 
A place that art enthusiasts must visit…
Shekhawati in Rajasthan—it is a city with several wall paintings. I’ve been there thrice and I can keep going back. What’s on the walls [in Shekhawati] is also a great tool of inspiration for me because of the kind of work I do. 
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