Born in Lahore in 1942, Sunita fled with her family to Calcutta at the time of partition, where she still lives. She worked closely with Mother Teresa and is her official biographer and spokesperson for the Missionaries of Charity order. As an artist, she is self taught and through her pictures captures India in all its warmth, diversity and vibrancy. Her friendship with the late MF Husain, India’s most eminent artist, spanned 30 years and had a strong influence on her work. Of her he wrote:
“In the midst of all the technical bravado and dazzle of art events, a painter serene in her presence and subtle in her rendering of images in colour and line, whispers in your ears, Mother Teresa’s love for motherless children, the sound of singing birds, plants (and) the beat of human compassion. That serene and silent painter is Sunita Kumar”.
Their joint exhibition celebrating Mother’s centenary at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2010) was seen by many as much as a display of ecumenicalism as of art – Sunita a Sikh by birth, Husain a Muslim, both celebrating the life of a Catholic.
Sunita’s work is widely collected and she has exhibited regularly in London, Paris, New York, Bombay, New Delhi and Calcutta.