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SEPTEMBER 2001 Contents
Page 2 of 2
The First Ladies in Delhi
- 'Pursuing their Calling'
Isidore Domnick Mendis
Tini Christina De Buccourt De Anchordoqui
Tini Christina De Buccourt De Anchordoqui---or simply Tini---wife of the Uruguayan Ambassador, Enrique Anchordoqui says, " My art is very organic. I love to paint fruits and vegetables. I have no fascination for landscapes". Tini has taken lessons from Rameshwar Broota, Director, Department of Art, Triveni Kala Sangam and is working towards an exhibition later this year.
Born in Buenos Aires in Argentina, Tini studied psychology at the university but her heart was always in painting. " My all-time favourites are American artist Georgie O’Keefe and M.F. Hussain. O'Keefe's work consists of incredible flowers, which are simultaneously organic and sensuous, while Hussain’s art is easily the most original," says Tini.
Tini became a household name in Argentina when she began hosting the hugely popular show titled, Tini. It ran for a record nine years and was based on the lives of women achievers from different fields.
She was also a successful model at the time and walked the ramp for a number of leading designers in many fashion centres of the world. She was also closely associated with all aspects of the fashion world---photography, design, make-up, hair styling, and set up the first modelling school in Argentina. Today, besides art, Tini has a passion for yoga and meditation, which she admits, has helped her remain fit and healthy.
Nathalie Trouveroy, wife of the Belgian Ambassador to India, is an art historian. Recently she and her friend Agnes Montanari translated William Dalrymple's masterpiece on Delhi, 'City of Djinns' in pictures.
"As an art historian I had read many books on Delhi written by authors like French naturalist Francois Bernier, Ibn Battuta and Khushwant Singh. But Agnes and I chose Dalrymple's work because we wanted to explore India from the contemporary foreigners point of view," says Nathalie, who is among the most popular wives of envoys to India.
A sleek coffee table book of black-and-white pictures of Delhi, inspired by the City of Djinns by Nathalie and Agnes has become an art collector's item. Nathalie is keen to continue her tryst with old Delhi, especially the architecture of Jama Masjid and Chandni Chowk, a part of the city that has much to offer particularly with its interface between the present and the past.
Nathalie who has done her Masters in the history of art and archaeology, with a specialization in Japanese art from the Catholic University of Louvain in Begium, is pained at the eroding heritage of Delhi. " The problem is that Delhites don't have a sense of belonging," she says and adds, " A majority of people staying in Delhi are migrants from pre-partitioned Punjab or from states like Bihar or Southern India. A need to preserve the heritage is missing."
Nathalie has been imbibing the cultures of the various cities she visits. When her husband was posted in China, she learnt calligraphy, from Yu Quilong, direct descendant of a seventh century royal calligrapher. She is an accomplished translator of catalogues and art books from Dutch into different European languages.
Moina Simcock, wife of the high commissioner of New Zealand, Adrian Simcock, is also a student of art history. She has been part of the Indian Culture Study Group researching the seven cities of Delhi. Her specialization is Lutyens' Delhi. " What amazes me is the irony about Lutyens Delhi. This fascinating British architecture came at the twilight of the British empire."
Moina, who has done her masters in linguistics from Auckland University, feels that many of Delhi's heritage sites have been neglected. " It is a sad reflection that no guide can even explain the scientific marvel of Jantar Mantar. The rich heritage of Delhi needs to be protected since it has layers of history of successive empires. Vestiges of the past exist side by side with the modern skyscrapers---Delhi is an exotic world of mobile phones and the Internet on the one hand and the bullock cart on the other," says Moina.
Most of these first ladies are in love with India and have been imbibing its culture and reflecting it in their art. Even as their husbands represent their countries in India these ladies are contributing in a myriad of artistic ways.
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