The works of Aasha Radhika and her five-year-old daughter Haasini are a tribute to femininity

The umbilical cord has often been used as a metaphor for the bond between mother and child. It was fitting then, that an art exhibition that showcased the work of both mother Aasha Radhika and her five-year-old daughter Haasini should be titled ‘The Bond of the Umbilical Cord’.

Held at Daira Art Gallery, the collection, both in subject and form, reflected the elements of femininity and motherhood as well as the vibrancy and purity of a child’s work.

Artist Aasha Radhika is a banker by profession and although she has no formal training, has been painting since she was a child. “My father taught me that I needed to be economically independent to pursue my passion so I put that first while simultaneously teaching myself to paint with a little guidance from Srinivas Chary,” she explains.

Aasha describes her paintings as ‘semi-conscious imagery.’ While her paintings are mainly of women and contain a lot of flower and bird motifs rendered in delicate stokes and colours, Haasini’s work is more bold and colourful. “She has always watched me paint and eventually began to join me with her own canvas. I never actively asked her to paint and never interfered in her paintings either so the work is very much hers,” says Aasha.

Aasha often takes inspiration from the women in her life. Posted at a rural branch of the State Bank of India, her paintings have recently shown a rural influence. “The women I come to contact with on the job are very determined and hard working and they have been an inspiration for me.”

Curator Atiya Amjad reveals that the work was chosen because it borrows from the Indian miniature tradition. “I thought viewers would find it interesting to see the motifs and forms of the miniatures reflected in the paintings,” she says.