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I Want to Live

Surjit Akre

Violence against women – it’s everywhere in India today; on the streets, in the campus, in the fields, in the police station, at home. By day or night; in language; and in action that reduces the woman to an object, and a man to a beast.

Untitled, 21×15’, oil on canvas, 2013

In a collection of fifty recent paintings, Surjit Akre raises her voice, as woman and artist, against this incessant, all-pervading violence that dehumanises both the victim and the perpetrator.


Untitled, 21×15’, oil on canvas, 2013

I was very disturbed after I heard about the [December 2012] rape. I started painting my anger on canvas. That is how the collection I Want to Live evolved…” Surjit Akre


Untitled 18.5×11.7’, oil on canvas, 2013


Untitled, 21×15’, oil on canvas, 2013


Untitled, 18.5×11.7’, oil on canvas, 2013


Born in Taran Tarn, Punjab, Surjit Akre has been painting for more than 40 years. She received a postgraduate degree in easel painting from the Academy of Fine Arts, Repin Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in Russia, and was decorated with the Order of the Red Banner of Labour in St. Petersburg. Akre has held over 70 solo painting exhibitions in India, Russia, the US and Canada, and has participated in numerous national and international exhibitions and artist camps. She makes use of oil, acrylic, water colour, pastel, ink and pencil in her work. Her works feature in several public and private collections in India and elsewhere.