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Divine images

Padma Krishnamurthy's works reflect her spiritual bent of mind. A look at her latest "Navagrahas".

IN SPITE of her advanced age and immobility due to a paralytic attack, Padma Krishnamurthy continues to translate her thoughts into visuals. She has been bringing out new themes periodically such as "Flowers for deities". The latest series from her is titled "Navagrahas".

Why Navagrahas? Padma replies, "The image of the nine planets which I had seen in temples as a child stuck to my mind." Now she feels that she has been able to understand the meaning of the nine planets — seasons, growth and health.

For Padma, form, colour and sound are all manifestations of the Divine. Based on her observations, readings and meditation (she is an ardent devotee of The Mother and Sri Aurobindo), she has now created nine paintings on the Navagrahas, which can be described as installations.

A large board is the base for the planets, each represented by a specific colour — black for Saturn, Red for Mars and so on. Starting with the Black of Saturn, the arrangement moves to white for Venus, golden yellow for Jupiter, burning red for Mars, to the Tamasic ignorance of Mercury, to the glare of the Sun. Then it moves to the moon, the shadow of Rahu or Neptune and finally back to the darkness of Ketu or Uranus.

On each board, Padma's painting of each graha is mounted along with a beautiful metal engraving, some literature and the specific kolam, which again is engraved in metal and is set with a gemstone favoured by the planet.

To top it all, there are the graha's favourite flowers, cereal/ grains, the vahanas (often animals) and terracotta images of the planet. All aspects of Nature are covered in a simple, yet symbolic manner.

Other artists such as S. Ramachandran (metal repousses), Selvam (paper board etchings and collages) and Ramu Vellalar (terracotta images) lent adequate support to Padma in her endeavour.

The exhibition of Padma's paintings will be on from March 6 to 9 at Balcony, C.P. Ramaswamy Iyer road, Alwarpet.

LAKSHMI VENKATRAMAN

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