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Updated: January 22, 2010 17:40 IST

A brush with our country

Shailaja Tripathi
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Natalia Sarafanova has painted an entire series on India.
Natalia Sarafanova has painted an entire series on India.

The most striking thing about Natalia Sarafanova's art is its simplicity. Simple scenes out of daily life, the routine chores which otherwise seem mundane to us, have made their way to her oil canvases.

Scenes like a woman bathing her child, womenfolk in a village carrying firewood on their heads, or a little girl with expressions that suggest she is planning a new trick with a ball lying next to her and many more make up Natalia's series on India.

The Russian artist grew up watching and understanding her mother's love for India. “Indian films are very famous. My mother watches a lot of Indian films and she cries during the emotional scenes. I always dreamt of coming to India,” expresses Natalia with the help of a translator.

The young artist has been coming to India for the last two years with the specific purpose of comprehending the country's culture and its people in order to do this body of work. Visiting Hardwar, Rajasthan, Kerala, Karnataka, Chennai and other places, Natalia says her mind and soul opened up.

“I came with a closed mind but the experiences here expanded my vision. Unlike Russia, here rich and poor, beautiful and ugly co-exist. The contrasts are unbelievable,” feels Natalia, a member of the Moscow Union of Artists.

She kept going back with the vignettes of life kept intact in her heart and poured it all out through her brush strokes.

“But I didn't copy the exact scenes. It's the spirit, the energy that I have tried to capture,” she says.

The bright canvases emitting light are a reflection of the energy Natalia found so irresistible in the atmosphere here.

(The exhibition that opens on Monday will be on view at AIFACS, Rafi Marg till 31st January.)


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