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Updated: January 4, 2012 19:17 IST

Through a woman's eye

Harshini Vakkalanka
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The many hues of a worldly woman
The many hues of a worldly woman

Ella Prakash's works talk of the multifaceted woman trying to fulfil herself

In one sense, what Ella Prakash tries to say in her exhibition, “Colours of Emotions”, at the Renaissance Gallery, is that a woman can balance her dreams and her familial life.

The only figure that constantly reasserts itself in Ella's acrylic paintings is the woman captured in the many roles she has to play in life — teenage drama queen, waiting for her beloved, her husband's desire, her own desire, motherhood and setting out on her dreams while being there for her family.

This figure, either with her companions or alone, is never fully defined. At the same time, one can make out her features, her thick and long eyelashes, flowing hair and curvaceous figure. Sometimes, Ella pauses to bask in the beauty of the woman, like in “Beauty and Gems”, where she deviates from her usual bright colour palette to a darker background.

The black and maroon of the background serve as a contrast to a sort of radiance that she tries to bring out. Here the figure becomes more abstract, almost other-worldly in its stature.

“In my works, I've tried to portray the journey of a woman that sets her on the path to success she desires, despite marriage and motherhood. As a woman, my message to women is that they have a right to live their own lives. If they don't, at some point, focus on their goals, their desires will remain unfulfilled. I have, through myself and my works, set an example,” says Ella.

Her works usually have a set colour palette, of shades of orange and turquoise, combining in different ways to create an eclectic, almost electric image. The elements in her painting, whether shapes, motifs or characters, in their bold brushstrokes overlap to create an almost animated image that brings her “semi-abstract” character to life.

“I have tried to fit shades of warm orange and cool blue together in my works. The orange is striking and fresh while the blue, which I use in limited amounts, balances out the vibrancy of the orange,” explains the artist from Bahrain, who is primarily self-taught.

Ella says she is not influenced by anyone. “I have an image in mind and I start painting directly with my brush until it translates onto the canvas. The image comes from within me.”

But her figures and her imagery seem to have touches of Persian influences that are likely shaped by her Middle-Eastern surroundings.

“Colours of Emotions” will be on view until January 7 at Renaissance Gallerie, off Cunningham Road. For details contact 22202232.

Keywords: art exhibition

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