The idea behind getting 55 women artists, some amateurs, some first timers and others professionals, to exhibit in one space has to be commended and Asif Ali Komu congratulated for coming up with it.

Meera Paul says, “I have seen exhibitions before but never once did I think I would exhibit my work like this. And for that I am grateful to Asif Ali for organising such as exhibition.” She is not alone, the other women who have exhibited for the first time are grateful for the exposure and the experience. ‘Feminine 2010', the exhibition, is on till May 26.

At home

The works are exhibited in a house which has been converted as a gallery. Therefore one encounters room after room of paintings. Actor Sheela's painting occupies pride of place and behind it rests a nude by Kamala Surraiya. The former's painting has an image of a vendor selling colours and the latter's is a nude of a woman. That sets the unofficial theme for the show.

Asif Ali Komu says that these women were not primarily artists but that they managed to channel their creativity; and that should inspire confidence in amateurs and beginners to paint and exhibit.

Although the exhibition started out with 55 women it later burgeoned to 60 plus. For instance there is Fouziya Aboobacker who has got her daughter, a plus one student, to put up a painting for the exhibition.

As word spread, says Asif, more women joined in. That veteran artist, Mary Koothatkulam's paintings too are on show besides artists like Kajal Charankatt, Bindhi Rajagopal, Raji Pisharasiar, Rani Damien, Dhanya etc says a lot about the equal platform. Dhanya's deserves to be complimented for her works, a treat.

The paintings explore a whole vista of experiences, from the deeply personal to the general. An interesting fact is that while the ‘veterans' seem to show deference to oil as a medium, with a marked tilt towards preferring acrylic the amateurs seem to have no such reservations. Some of the works are clearly ‘inspired' by others, better known ones, but then imitation is the best for of flattery. There are several murals too and some glass paintings as well. The beauty of the whole show is that idea is sans snobbery or the pretentiousness of high art; most of the artists are just testing waters or doing it for the sheer fun of it.

Dr Jeemol, a dentist whose works are also on show, says, “This show has given me the confidence to, maybe, have a solo show.” Inspiring this kind of confidence is probably why a show like Feminine 2010 scores.