Paintings of trans artists from T.N., Kerala find place in U.S. exhibition

Kalki Subramaniam and Silky Prema with some of the paintings chosen for the exhibition.   | Photo Credit: Siva SaravananS

Abhinaya, a transwoman from Chennai, died of multiple health issues during the peak of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in September 2020 at the age of 34.

She was passionate about painting and her struggles in life as a transperson often reflected in her works.

Though Abhinaya is no more, a painting she did three years ago will soon find place in ‘Visibility and Remembrance: Standing with the Trans Community’, an exhibition curated by the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, University of South Florida.

“I am glad that her work is honoured posthumously,” said transwoman, activist and artist Kalki Subramaniam.

A total of eight paintings by trans artists from Tamil Nadu and Kerala will be featured in the exhibition from November 20 to April 20, 2022. The selected paintings will also be featured in the website of the university.

Of the eight artists, transwomen Abhinaya, Kalki, Silky Prema, Rupakala, Rambha, Sandhya and transman Ramesh are from Tamil Nadu. Transwoman Saji Varrier is the sole artist from Kerala.

25 entries

“A total of 25 entries were submitted by transpersons from India. Out of these, all the eight entries sent by us were selected for the exhibition. Our works being chosen for the exhibition is an international honour for the Indian trans community,” Ms. Kalki said. All the works selected for the exhibition are basically celebration of transpersons’ lives.

“There is a general misconception that transpersons are only into begging and sex work. We hope that the international acceptance for our artworks will help us break the stereotypes,” Ms. Kalki said.

Ms. Prema said that her painting, ‘Cooking Guru’, an acrylic work on canvas, portrays the culinary skills of transpersons.

Ms. Kalki said that her team was in the efforts of getting government’s help in setting up a gallery and skill training centre for transpersons at Pollachi.

“Our earnest appeal to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister is to allot space and sanction funds for the centre where skill training can be offered to transpersons. Being the coconut capital, Pollachi will have immense scope for offering skill training in the making and marketing of coir products”, she said.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 5:53:47 AM |

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