“I came across a video of a woman jal tarang artist who was playing the song Breathless by Shankar Mahadevan. While reminiscing about music concerts I’ve visited, it suddenly struck me that I’d never been to a concert where women played instruments like mridangam or nadaswaram. This made me curious. I started researching and came across articles of women artistes (adept in playing percussion and wind instruments) who’d made a name not just in the domestic music scene but had represented the country internationally too. What was most interesting was their respective journeys - it wasn’t limited to music classes and long practice hours but much more. It was also about making a name in a field that seldom saw many women venture into. It was about breaking stereotypes and mastering an art. Their stories are truly inspiring. I wanted to put the limelight on women artistes in the field of classical instrumental music in India. That’s how the art series Off Beat But In Tune was initiated,” says Aditi.
The series shows women artistes playing five different instruments. “The series does not just focus on women musicians but I have also documented the instrument makers. It was a great learning experience for me.”
When quizzed about the challenges she faced while painting on cork coasters, Aditi reminisces, “Cork isn’t an easy medium to work -- it isn’t ideal for painting human figures as redrawing with pencil and erasing can lead to minor dents or flaking. But once it is done, the paint sits well on it -- water gets absorbed easily, colours look vibrant and gradients come out surprisingly better than expected.”