Mother-daughter duo Vinitha Anand and Sayujya Anand's canvases were mostly on nature

Being related to a famous artist when you are an up- and-coming artist can be a royal pain as the need to prove yourself arises. Even more so when the artist in question is Raja Ravi Varma. Mother-daughter duo Vinitha Anand and Sayujya Anand, who are related to the royal artist (Vinitha is the great grand daughter of artist Mangal Bai Thampuratti, Ravi Varma's sister) have come up with master strokes. Their art works that were exhibited at Vyloppilly Samskriti Bhavan are proof that there is something in the phrase “it's in the genes.”

Says Vinitha: “My father's sister, Bhageerathi was an artist. As a child, I was fascinated when I saw her bring life to blank canvases. While teaching her daughters the art of painting, I would watch her. She would ask me to try my hand at painting and would praise me for my work. Her praises sowed a seed in me.” However, although interested in art, Vinitha did not train in earnest. “I'm mostly self-taught. I had my skills polished by various art teachers and artists like Nagavally R.S. Kurup and B.D. Dethan when I was older.”

Sayujya, however, has completed her Masters in Visual Arts from Chitra Kala Parishat, Bangalore. “I grew up watching my mother paint and she is my inspiration,” she says.

The duos paintings although similar in theme – nature, their styles are entirely different. While Vinitha's images of people on canvas are fluid almost jelly-like, Sayujya's are etched out clearly.

Celebrating nature

The line of paintings for the exhibition at Vyloppilly began with a canvas by Vinitha. It had a person in what seemed to be a meditative pose and beneath it were people in yoga-like poses. Her next painting had a woman cradling her child. That the mother was protective of her child was hinted in the way the blade of her shoulder was curved as the child lay safe in her arms. Vinitha's ode to nature began with a canvas of a person holding a flower. Flowers bloomed in the background of this rust brown canvas. Another canvas in shades of green had a child almost blending into a fish pond.

While Vinitha's frames celebrated nature, Sayujya's seemed to be a lament on the loss of nature. Her paintings were quite disturbing as they showed the result of our abuse of nature. A case in point was a huge canvas where people seemed to swim to reach the surface as vines pulled them down. People abusing nature, and nature taking revenge? Another frame had men climbing vines that had been juxtaposed against skyscrapers. Men cutting down nature in the name of progress? She also seemed to hint on people encroaching into nature's territory in one of her canvas, while another had a man reeling under the effects of global warming, a dead fish in hand and a mug by the side.

Ask the duo if they give the other advice when the other is working on a painting and Vinitha says, “No. I prefer freedom. I do ask Sayujya her opinion after I finish a painting though.” Vinitha intends to display a couple of her paintings in Delhi to help the cause of the Tibetans. “I admire them for how they face adversity with a smile. I will probably hold the exhibition at the end of this year. Proceeds from the exhibition will go for the cause.”