THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:She came to the state as a tourist but destiny had decided something else for her. She went missing from Kovalam in March and after a month-long search, her body was discovered in a decomposed state in an isolated area near Kovalam. Anitha Mohan’s paintings take you on a journey with the Latvian woman who had to embrace death at the end.
The two-day exhibition at Museum Auditorium by the Kollam-based artist portrays the atrocities the woman was subjected to on her visit. “This series of the exhibition is a tribute to the foreign tourist,” says artist Anitha. “Usually, I take up woman-centric issues and explain them in the form of paintings. All the paintings displayed here follow the time since she arrived till the end when her body was discovered and cremated.” The exhibition, titled ‘A Painter’s Homage to the Foreign Tourist’, portrays images which are thoughts that came to the artist’s mind as she chose this theme.
The self-taught artist has displayed 20 acrylic paintings on the Latvian woman. Themes such as women-centric issues, child abuse and nature are highlighted in her paintings.It has been 18 years Anitha has been into painting. She says, “I always had an inclination towards art. Being a housewife, I thought of engaging myself in craftwork when my children left for school. That is how I started making small crafts using paper, then went on to make landscapes through shading and finally doing figures.”
Anitha did 83 paintings based on the Nirbhaya case in Durbar Hall Art Gallery in Kochi during the time. Housewives, working women, girls and elderly women are subjects in her paintings. “I always view their lives closely and they become subjects in paintings. Each of their stories is something different and unique,” she says.
Anitha has used different media such as oil, coffee, watercolour to do paintings. She is also into mural paintings based on themes such as ‘Krishna and Meera’. She says, “Whenever I get some thought or see something, I paint it. To do the paintings of the Latvian woman, it took around 12 days.” The exhibition was inaugurated by Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran. Soorya Krishnamoorthy, Kattoor Narayana Pillai and Manilal Sabarimala were also present.
The artist has conducted many exhibitions in Durbar Hall Art Gallery in Kochi, Marian College Kuttikkanam, Lalitha Kala Academy in Thrissur and has done more than 100 works so far. The artist plans to conduct her next exhibition on the Latvian woman in Kochi.