Renuka Sondhi Gulati’s exhibition “The Phoenix Woman” exhorts women to pursue their aspirations while fulfilling their responsibilities

Strong lines and soft colours; realistic drawings and abstract backgrounds; details and simplicity; busts mostly of women, at any age, with their lives and their feelings are all components of the exhibition “The Phoenix Woman” by artist Renuka Sondhi Gulati at Shridharani Gallery.

Renuka’s paintings and sculptures represent women of all ages, from childhood to old age. The message behind these figures is strong and simple: that time goes by, life goes on, but we are always there and there are no loopholes. One has to accept with serenity the flow of time and understand that what one does is the true beauty of life. The simplicity of her work is vivid. Renuka’s aim is to create an art which is easy to relate to, in which subjects are not overwhelmed by too many decorations. “The painting must speak,” she says. At the same time, however, her figures are very detailed and are evidence of an in-depth study of the representation of the human figure.

Metal elements often accompany her representations, and metal is seen as a metaphysical element that brings one back to reality: a symbol of the difficulty of freeing our thoughts and our dreams. The contemporary society with its needs and its commitments, affects women’s lives more than men. They are often expected to be good mothers and good housewives, taking care of the needs of the children and the family. A woman, in most of the cases, has to be stronger than a man to achieve her dreams. A man on the contrary will not be considered a bad father even he works all day and gives priority to his career while delegating family care to his wife.

When Renuka realised that art was her future, she knew she could not let her being a wife and mother prevent her from pursuing her passion. She understood that only a happy and successful woman can be a happy and successful mother and wife too; hence she began to practice, study and work hard. Her life and art have important messages for younger generations, especially women: do not let the roles prescribed by society stop you from dreaming and realise your ambitions — all it requires is hard work and dedication.

The exhibition continues till March 16, Shridharani Gallery, Triveni Kala Sangam, Tansen Marg, Mandi House, New Delhi, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.