A peek into the woman's world
Kate Bedell's works are inspired by women working and surviving in a chaotic city
INVOLVED OUTSIDER Kate Bedell says her work is largely voyeuristic; one of her works, titled Gossip
A graduate from Dun Laoghaire School of Art and Design (Dublin) in 1984 with a diploma in Fine Art, Kate Bedell is a member of the Artists' Association of Ireland, and the Water Colour Society of Ireland. Her paintings have been exhibited in the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin and Mall Galleries, London.
A resident of Bangalore for the past six years, she has held solo shows in the city in 2001 and 2002. In her third solo exhibition titled Expressions, which concluded recently at RainTree, the Irish water-colourist put on display a series of images of Indian women. "I find that my work is largely voyeuristic," says Kate, before admitting that even after having lived in Bangalore for years, she was still a western "outsider". She also confesses to being fascinated and inspired by many women she saw living and working amidst the chaos of the city. She sought to portray them in isolation from this chaos "enclosed in their own private world which creates an air of mystery and silence around them". Kate's protagonists include vegetable vendors, construction workers, spice sellers and other working women. She had noticed them going through their daily routine when they were Day Dreaming, Haggling over a Bargain, Choosing Oranges or Embracing The Past. Old women with sad and vague expressions also featured in some of the paintings.
Sadly, most of Kate's figures, brushwork and colouring appear rather routine and hackneyed. The images remain essentially on the surface without providing an insight into the portrayed women's condition or emotive state.
Their obvious hardship and desolation notwithstanding, the women are seen swathed in indulgent colours. More disconcerting is the insipid backdrop in several paintings which do not offer any clues or understanding of the environment in which the protagonists are located. Even in terms of technical efficiency and composition, there is hardly anything to rave about.
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Chennai and Tamil Nadu