Local News

A bird in the hand

June 25 - July 2, 2019

Gulf Weekly Stan Szecowka
By Stan Szecowka

Gulf Weekly A bird in the hand

TALENTED teenage artist Ipshita Singh’s amazing array of natural world images are ‘tern-ing’ into a success story as animal and bird lovers snap up her powerful pieces.

A selection of the 18-year-old Indian School graduate’s vibrant acrylic and oil work was featured in GulfWeekly after being placed on display at Harbour Gate to much critical acclaim.

Reader Sue Al-Mahmeed was so thrilled by her painting of a lesser crested tern preening itself that she immediately contacted this newspaper asking to make contact with Ipshita so she could purchase it: “It was absolutely perfect,” she said.

The prize painting was handed over at a special high tea gathering at the Crowne Plaza Bahrain, hosted by Executive Chef David Miras.

As reported, the Indian expat artist’s work was inspired by her father Ajay Kumar’s collection of photographs of birds, gazelles and other animals taken on his travels, as well as during family vacations.

Ajay, who is a Geographical Information Systems specialist at the Ministry of Interior, captured the terrific tern image much closer to his home in Hoora, during a wildlife photographic reconnaissance to Busaiteen beach.

“I usually go early in the morning on Fridays and Saturdays,” he explained. “To capture that pose I needed to wait for the right moment – I think I waited for around one-and-a-half to two hours to capture the bird preening itself. It was fabulous and over in an instant. You just have to time it right. I remember the bird diving into the water and coming straight out, shaking its wings and preening itself.”

Ipshita marvelled at the image and set to work with her paintbrush over several weeks whenever she got a spare moment from her school studies.

“Since the exhibition and the publicity that followed in GulfWeekly, I’ve sold four paintings and was so thrilled to be contacted by Sue.”

Ipshita started art classes at the age of six with abstract artist Ella Prakash who is renowned for her expressive paintings focusing on feminism, female empowerment and self-discovery. The youngster started off with pencil work and shading before tackling various art techniques using different mediums such as water colours, acrylic, oil and charcoal and pieces from her collection have been snapped up for around BD40 each.

Retired Sue, who comes from the English county of Northamptonshire and has lived in the region from around 56 years, is just as excited to have the painting in her collection and will proudly place it on display at her home. “Having spent a great deal of time over almost 30 years on Busaiteen beach bird-watching the Caspian terns, they are close to my heart.

‘This is a Lesser crested tern, it’s still lovely, and the way it has been captured from a photograph and then on to canvas is truly stunning.”

Like all Thalasseus terns, the Lesser crested tern feeds by plunge-diving for fish. The offering of fish by the male to the female is part of the courtship display. The genus name is from Ancient Greek Thalasseus, ‘fisherman’ from thalassa, ‘sea’.

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