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Whirlpool of ideas

Sajitha R. Shankar's series in charcoal have a murky intensity


IT'S A diary on display — thoughts, words, actions and an entire life — in charcoal and on paper. Sajitha R. Shankar's exhibition of art "Archetypes - A Search Through Self" is a series of self-portraits tracing her path of discovery and meditation.

This series is done in charcoal and has a murky intensity to it. The blacks and greys are a little gloomy and a recurring pattern that depicts the various phases of her life. Her art seems to have a kind of swirling, circular pattern. Everything — people and motifs — seems to go into circles, end in an eddy or loop endlessly, like a whirlpool of thoughts.


Sajitha has been painting and sculpting since 1982 and has at least 20 solo exhibitions to her credit. She says this series is "an attempt to articulate my identity as an artist and a woman." Two life-size portraits, "Archetype 1" and "Archetype 2," seem to be the result of her search. Archetype 1 is of a rather droopy and depressed-looking woman staring ahead sightlessly, while the woman in Archetype 2 seems energised and raises her hands in a kind of show of power. "My search through art has given me peace and power - women need to realise that the power to heal, to change is within. Contemplation is essential but women hardly have time for reflection," explains Sajitha.Some of her terracotta sculptures are also on display — unusual figures and carvings that again, she says, depict the differences between true and false.

The exhibition is on at the Alliance Française of Madras, 24 College Road, Nungambakkam till April 3.

SHALINI UMACHANDRAN

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