KOCHI: Dipping fingers in vibrant colours and brushing them against a plain white canvas, Vini Venugopal aka Vini V creates diverse finger paintings. From wildlife to outright fantastical, her subjects know no bounds. The Thrissur native, who currently lives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has been invited by the French ambassador to exhibit her mystical finger paintings on the walls of one of the most prestigious art galleries in Paris.
Vini has been enticing eyes around her since she was just three years old. She uses oil, acrylic, watercolour, pen, and ink, pastels. “I did my first exhibition featuring pen art in 2012 at Kerala Lalithakala Academy. After that, I started thinking of new concepts for the next exhibition,” says Vini.
Driven about finding something new, she stumbled upon finger painting, a craft she has been practising for more than a decade now. It came to her when she saw her one and a half-year-old son, Gehan, plunged his fingers into her colour palette and splashed it on the canvas.All she now needs to breathe life into blank canvas is her fingers. “I cherish the feeling of creating a piece of art with my hands. It is a liberating experience to portray my creativity through such a raw gesture,” says Vini.
Unlike brush painting which gives the creator’s work a flat look, finger painting offers added advantage of a 3D effect. “Things like the texture of the fur of an animal is enhanced when the paintings are done using fingers, giving it a more real-life look,” she said.
Vini’s Arabian tale
Before getting married, leaving home and getting settled in Riyadh, Vini made sure to research the scope of exhibiting her creations in the kingdom. After over two years of hard work, she got the chance to do her first solo exhibition titled ‘Dexterism’, where she displayed 29 finger paintings at the Naila Art Gallery, Riyadh, in 2019.
One of Vini V’s most challenging paintings is considered to be the portrait of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud. The painting now adorns the wall of the palace. “Since I haven’t seen the palace in person, it was challenging to bring authenticity to the painting. Getting the background right was challenging,” she says.