NEWS AND FEATURES

Exhibits that showcase leading contemporary woman artists from India

If 'The Garden of dreams and desires', an exhibition of paintings by Lalitha Lajmi at the Anant Art Galley in New Delhi revolved around her favorite theme ' women and their dialogue with the self and the surroundings, the paintings by Rekha Rodwittiya titled 'Once upon a time'.' at Shridharani Gallery, New Delhi, presented by Sakshi Gallery, alluded to the artist's personal and collective territories.

Apart from the show, a book documenting Rekha Rodwittiya's thought processes and her artistic philosophy was also released. This book is autobiographical and the photographs, a documentation of her genealogy. The paintings and the book made up the entire territory of the event.

The artist elaborating on the theme has mentioned: 'There are hundreds of stories that each of us carry with us. These stories are an amalgamation of truths and desires, memories and histories that are the residues of experience, which form the patina of our psyches and define our personas. At forty-eight, I caught myself in reverie, looking at the orbit of my own life to examine it.

Rekha Rodwittiya was born in 1958 in Bangalore and studied painting in the Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda and at the Royal College of Art in London. She has participated in several exhibitions in India and abroad, and her work is in major collections.

She adds: 'I think it is accurate to say that as painters we often chronicle through our art, and in doing so, create spaces to recount what we have garnered through the prisms of personal journeys, and via our encounters with the social, political and the cultural.'

This 'sequence of paintings' that constitutes the rhythm of this exhibition, forms a metaphorical bracket within which the autobiographical is hinted at obliquely; locating birth, childhood, identity, gender-politics, motherhood and other nuanced factors of a witnessed world, to be examined and mulled over.

However at no time are these paintings illustrative stories about the artist's life. Metaphors are always culled from specific sources of reference, but transform by virtue of how they are finally delivered, to evoke wider meanings.

If these paintings by Rekha Rodwittiya explore the cycle of life and are homage to the ancestry of womanhood, in which the presence of my persona becomes merely its emblematic representation, Lalitha Lajmi's paintings narrate scenes from a woman's realm in domesticity and her dreams and fantasies.

Her works showcased in the exhibition as the titles like Woman riding an elephant; Blue Angel Woman; Nayika; Woman with a book & birds; Woman with a melon sitting on earth; Woman with a mirror Woman holding a blank picture, praying angel and man looking into a mirror suggest depict myriad moods of the female protagonist.

Most of the works are mostly are transparent watercolors on paper. Other notable works that form part of the show are Mythical Birds; Three Generations and Seated woman with mythical animals & earthen pots. Lalitha Lajmi's works are in keeping with her pervious works in which one can find a reflection of hidden tensions that exist between men and women, captured in the different roles they play. Yet, her women are not meek individuals, but assertive and aggressive. The artist has also depicted the natural bonding that exists between women.

Even her etchings depicted the man woman relationship as I perceived it. She has been quoted as saying:'I do show and deal with the disturbances and relationships which human beings are caught up in. A great concern of mine is the human condition or predicament.'

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