CHENNAI: Entering into Lalit Kala Akademi, one can find a painting of a lady with a solemn expression. She has wings attached to her shoulders and words such as Unbound, Flamboyant, Fiesty and Selfless are written around her. Explaining the concept behind the painting, artist Selin Sabashini, who painted the oil on canvas piece titled ‘Selfless Dreamer’ says, “This is a modern-day woman. If you notice, although there are wings, she is unable to fly. This is symbolic of how, although it seems like she’s given enough freedom, she is not really free. However, she dreams about her family and children, regardless of her problems, thus being selfless.”
Most of Selin’s work – five paintings and a sculpture made of tissue paper — at Meraki, an exhibition put up by past students of the Government College of Fine Arts, are centered on feminism and the plight of today’s woman. In a striking contrast to the paintings on women, in form and ideas, there is a painting of a man, possibly disturbed by bad memories, by artist Sushil Kumar. It is made of acrylic paint on canvas. Inside the painted man is an image of a miniature human being that seems to control his thoughts.
Another artist K Nagarajan’s works are inspired by paintings depicting a small hamlet, Sittannavaasal in Pudukkottai. “Our history has always interested me and I made it a point to see the painting of the place. I wanted to make my own interpretation of the original and that explains my work,” says the artist hailing from Madurai.
Other pieces from Nagarajan’s repertoire explore unique emotions and also the life-cycle of a flower. Titled ‘Born to be no more’, the series of nine paintings conveys that even the most gentle of living forms – the flower – has to suffer the fate of death, he says.
The exhibition also includes a few black and white paintings. Vimaleshwaran’s art work titled ‘Disturbed’, was made of charcoal on strips of paper. Another black and white painting by P Selvam, a post-graduate from the Government College of Fine Arts, had a sketch of a man with the word ‘BLACK’ written across the painting in white, and another with the letters written in black colour. “Does this suggest racism?”, a spectator at the venue whispered to her companion, leaving the question open ended.
The exhibition is on till the end of this week at Lalit Kala Akademi.