OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN
At the Lalit Kala Akademi, Sweeta Rai's solo curated by Georgina Maddox celebrates the woman-child and the entire gamut of emotions and relative relationship nuances that come into play in a woman's life. While the Madonna and child is an image that goes back to the renaissance days, here are contemporary images that are rather abstract and far from realistic.
Maddox describes Rai 's work with elan, "In one of her memory drawings, a couple lies upon a flowery bedspread, the coital act is both literally and symbolically referenced to with a blissful innocence and freshness. In another work, the couple swings a skipping-rope between them, as hearts jump from one to the other; a delightful metaphor for the heart skipping a beat. In yet another work, on paper, the couple embrace shutting the world out, as the 'fish-magic' of the night unfolds. The moon and the floating fish are delightful reminders of the romance of a bygone time."
The show manifests some large format canvases that are less narrative in nature and consist mostly of monumental images of women. The energy of the female form is both vital as well as bordering on the animistic. The dark blue tones of one of her women, bring suggestions of both Kali as well as Krishna, lending it an air of the spiritual, the hot fuchsia pink and bright yellow eyes of the other possesses the vitality of a mother-goddess, coming alive with the vitality of two pertinent qualities which are fertility and fecundity.
Perhaps most important are the fragile yet delicate scrolls, evoking longing and desire and the eternal reality of waiting with an air of abject desolation or loneliness. In some ways, depending on the many colour tones and contours the compositions dwell on the nayika which, when rendered with the little bird perched on one hand gives us nostalgia of the miniature traditions. The treatment and the final expression show a naïve and innocent feel of both expression and emotive essence. The show runs until March 16, 2018.