Five women artists explore different themes through varied media
The Delhi Quintet, five women artists from the National Capital, comprising Alka Mathur, Bharti Singh, Durga Kainthola, Sangeeta K. Murthy and Sarla Chandra, is showcasing their works of art in the city. Exploring different themes through varied media such as silk screen printing, silver foil on paper, oils, ink and mixed media, their works are thematically diverse.
Texture is an essential element of Alka Mathur’s work and is realised through added elements such as thread, metal rings, rusted bottle caps, and so on. Her works conjure up images of time-worn scrolls indicating the passage of time. Their topographical sensibility suggests unexplored terrain through dotted lines simulating kantha embroidery, block prints of birds in flight, scorpions and ants.
In contrast with the tactile nature of Alka’s works are Bharti Singh’s slick canvases, graced with poetic mellifluous lines. Worked in monochrome, essentially black and white, Bharti’s canvases tolerate merely a smear of red or yellow, to auspiciously adorn the forehead of Shakti or Krishna.
Sarla Chandra’s works of Hindu gods take on a manuscript feel in their muted background tones, figures outlined in black and brown, and script interspersed with imagery. The multi-layered depiction hints at the levels of significance embedded within the teachings of an ancient religion. Her penchant for design is evident in the temperament of the lines that make up her forms.
Sangeeta Murthy endeavours to visualise the power of the feminine through abstraction. Within the familiar symbolism of the triangle as representative of the female principle, she seeks to illustrate imperceptible power. While her canvases are in vivid colour with abstract forms portrayed as angles comprising shades and hues, her works on paper are in black and white. The latter works leave much to be desired in terms of exploration of expression and exploitation of media.
Seeking allegiance through ‘global village’ connections, Durga Kainthola draws references from the 20th Century Western masters. Her silk screen prints on paper deconstruct familiar images from art history through direct references made to Pablo Picasso’s ‘Woman with Book,’ Gustav Klimt’s ‘The Kiss,’ Amadeo Modigliani’s ‘Woman’ and Andy Warhol’s ‘Marilyn.’ While the referencing is no doubt fascinating, one questions why the artist has chosen to borrow from an alien source while a cornucopia of cultural diversity exists at one’s own doorstep.
The works are on show at Sri Parvati Art Gallery, Eldams Road, till November 3.SWAPNA SATHISH