Fine, meditative moods of femininity

Nirmala Sadanandan with her works at the museum auditorium in Thiruvananthapuram.— Photo: C. Ratheesh Kumar  

Perhaps because she is a woman, femininity finds a natural presence in her works.

Colours, an exhibition of paintings by Nirmala Sadanandan that is under way at the Museum art gallery, has on display 63 works, done over a period of four decades.

Be it her miniature-inspired ‘Radha Kishangarh,’ or ‘Lost in reverie,’ or ‘Lady in her garden and the long-tailed magpie,’ the focus is on women, their emotions, their beauty.

Strokes of ‘Impatience,’ done using glitter pen on black paper, shows a woman with long tresses waiting in moonlight for her husband’s return home.

Even Nirmala’s watercolour on paper ‘Bliss,’ which depicts a monkey and her young, is all about calming motherliness.

The wide spectrum of her works, from divinity to flora and fauna, and landscapes, reflects her feelings, Nirmala says.

She has dabbled in various media – oil on canvas, watercolours, oil on cotton canvas, acrylic on paper, oil on X-ray film, and pencil sketches. But oil on canvas is her favourite, she says.


Many of her works are inspired by things she read or saw or thought about. Her landscape ‘An afternoon on a hill’ shows a girl roaming a hillside, its slope a blanket of flowers, was stirred by what she had read.

Her painting ‘Brahm Kamal,’ which shows the rare flowers from which Lord Brahma is believed to have been born, has its origin in a photograph Nirmala possessed.

The vivid ‘Champakkulam’ captures her late husband’s village as it was when she went there as a new bride.

‘Pisces’ reflects Nirmala’s love for biology, which she taught in Ethiopia for 38 years.

The show also has on display her works done during her long years in that country.

‘A village in Ethiopia’ painted in 1980 depicts a circular mud house with thatched roof, a stream gurgling by, and plantains in the background, a common sight outside the cities where she lived.

Her ‘Ethiopian girl’ is an early pencil sketch from 1976, while ‘Foggy dusk’ is an oil on canvas. ‘Tisisat waterfall on the Blue Nile’ shows the rapids on the river, water hurtling down, and a bright rainbow across it.

The exhibition, dedicated to her husband S. Sadanandan, will conclude on July 6.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2022 4:51:12 AM |

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