P.S. Padmini's exhibition titled ‘Atmavinte Malarukal' displayed the artist's passion for art and crafts

How ‘crafty' is this grandmother! The sheer variety of arts and crafts that 72-year-old Padmini P.S. had on display in an exhibition titled ‘Athmavinte Malarukal' at the Museum Auditorium was quite amazing, to say the least. If in one section of the exhibition you are struck by the fine detailing in her ‘Shadow' paintings of Lord Krishna, Jesus, and an Apsara, in the next, you come across the browns and beiges in her ‘coffee painting.' In another the play of colours in her glass paintings catches the eye. Likewise her Tanjore paintings, nib paintings, 3-D paintings, gel paintings, paintings on pottery, Ornamental candle work, ‘Gomu' art, Madhubani paintings, murals…

Growing up with crafts

“Whenever I see some painting or craft technique that interests me, I can't help but try it out,” says the soft-spoken Padmini. For instance, she happened to go to an exhibition at the College of Engineering recently and she came across hand-crafted paper baskets. As soon as she got back home she found out the technique and she replicated the baskets!

“It probably comes with growing up in family where every one was into some craft or the other. My father, Sankaran Asari, used to do lots of wood carving in his free time. All of us children were into painting and tailoring from a young age itself. All this is a lifetime's worth of effort,” adds the artist with a sweep of her hand.

Padmini's hobby turned into a full-time endeavour when she retired a few years ago as the coordinator for UNICEF at the State Institute of Education after serving as headmistress in various schools in the State. For the past seven years she has been training under artist George Fernandez of Flora art school and learning crafts at the Centre for Continuing Education at Government Women's College.

Her perfection and diligence at arts and crafts couldn't have been more evident than in the section that displayed her stitching skills. Here panels upon panels of very type of hand-stitch possible were exhibited, even rarely seen stitches such as Persian stitch, lavangam stitch, chamti work, Kashmiri balloon work, spider work and so on. Another outstandingly intricate work was those that featured ribbon embroidery, especially the one of a peacock perching on a branch with its tail flowing, that she crafted out of blue, green and yellow ribbons.

You can next see Padmini's works at an exhibition titled ‘Creative minds' where she and other older artists like herself will display their art. The exhibition is slated for December.

Padmini can be contacted at www.pspadmini.wordpress.com