Women of rural India rule the canvases of J.M.S. Mani and S. Jayaraj

Tangerine, has on display a series of artworks by J.M.S. Mani and S. Jayaraj. Titled “Rural Faces”, the series of paintings is composed of portraits of rural women.

Mani depicts the women of rural Karnataka in rich, bright attire composed of bold colours and strokes amidst native motifs, that show strong links with nature such as fruits, flowers or birds. This is most obvious in his oils, which are done in impasto. His glass paintings, on the other hand, are more fluid in their structure though they are similar in terms of imagery.

The exhibition also features charcoal sketches of the rural women in thick strokes. In the absence of colour, they are not as endearing as the others, but the imagery still retains the innocence that pervades the colourful canvases. This perhaps adds some metaphorical colour to the frame.

Composed of bold lines with filled in colour (pastels) or charcoal, Jayaraj’s canvases also depict the same subject though in an altogether different perspective. Jayaraj’s profiles are mostly close-ups, drawing the attention of the viewers to the expression on the women’s faces.

Their faces look down, their eyes are drawn downward, conveying an overall sense of gloom or sorrow.

“I don’t draw their mouths, because I feel that they are voiceless and choiceless,” says Jayaraj, who is known for his extensive collection of works on rural development. In this series of work, Jayaraj largely places these women, dressed in colourful attire and adorned with vermillion, in a temple setting suggested by the bells in the background.

“Though these women go through agony with a large portion of the household responsibility on their heads, and even though they are treated badly by their husbands, they still pray or their husband’s well-being,” he adds. “Rural Faces” will be on view until March 31 at the Tangerine Sizzlers and More, 52, 100 Feet Road, (near the Sony Centre intersection), Koramangala. For details, contact 41152678 or 41152679.