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A salute to womanhood through art

Saturday March 26, 2011 12:21:24 PM, Subhra Mazumdar, IANS

New Delhi: It's a panoramic take on women's empowerment. With 361 creative works spread across the 11 gallery spaces of the Art Mall premises in New Delhi, "Stree 2011" is a tribute to the spirit of womanhood.

The exhibits - on display from March 8 to 31 - have proved to be an imaginative turnaround. By personalising the narrative of the woman, the artists have enlarged the concept manifold.

Of course, there is a segment which has preferred to keep to the traditional approach where womanhood is idealised, for instance as a consort of Lord Krishna in Bharti Indorkar's stylised composition on the lines of miniature art, or as the eternal nayika awaiting the return of the beloved in Balesh Jindal's "Intezaar".

Symbolic interpretations of woman power saw interesting conceptualisations.

The mermaid-like form blowing on a conch shell by the sea ripples with a happiness quotient, while a serene geometry pervades Rita Jhunjhunwala's half-open or full-blown lotuses in a tonal palette of earthy tints.

Others have used the ornamented feet and hands of feminine anatomy to say their bit and Pragya Jain has drawn the eye inwards into her compartmented squares, each cocooning a symbol of the free spirit within its core.

An attractive flow of trailing lines and forms in Canadian artist Pragati Sharma's "Looking Closely" invites varied interpretations.

In a bold makeover, Boishali Massot has given her thoughts free rein in her curvaceous though sinuous depiction titled "Horse Power".

When the form is affixed to the feminine figure itself in works such as Indu Tripathy's untitled canvas or Geetika Goyal's "Roshni" or the "Lost Memory" by Monika Kaur, the treatment shows a very personal involvement.

Decorative elements give the canvases a strong illustrative expressiveness, proving art is neither a way of conformity nor a breakaway into unbridled fantasy.

Besides form, colour treatment and the other essentials of art-making, there are exhibits of experimentation with commendable results.

Priyanka Dua's digital study of the tree form, Aarti Zaveri's engagement with light on the surface of the canvas, Nibha Mishra's treatment with mixed media or collage compositions by Uma Sharma prove quite efficacious.

Lozenge-like brightness, earthy tonalities, cubist divisions, and graphic outlines mark some of the abstract compositions. Sculptural interpretations ranging from forms in bronze, wood, fiberglass and aluminium were in abstract contours largely.

The exhibition was inaugurated by noted artist Arpana Caur and graced by dignitaries from the diplomatic as well as art fraternity.

Banded together under a single roof, these differing strains on the 100th celebration of International Women's Day March 8 gave the historic occasion an artistic arm of encouragement.

(Subhra Mazumdar is a freelance art and culture writer. She can be contacted at






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(Photo: Shivraj



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