Of daughters and mothers
Victoria A. M.
HER WORKS tell a story quite different from what she tells. There is a definite disconnect between the pictorial optimism seen in her works and the pessimism that colours the lives of the women who form the subjects. Victoria A.M, minding Cochin Art Gallery, Fort Kochi, is a painter caught amid an innate optimism and a pessimism born out of the struggles of life. Her latest series of paintings on women are expressions of their entrapments, which she has sensed and felt strongly. Yet, Victoria is optimistic. Her journey both as an artist and in life, till this point, she says, has been uphill but she has searched out the happier angles. From there she derives the beautiful, bold, deep colours that form the backdrop to her works. In fact the backdrops are very interesting, relating to the main subject.
Raised in Tamil Nadu, amid agrarian surroundings, the rustic motifs find continual expression on her canvas. The rural women with wide-eyed innocence stare out warmly. Belles drawing water from a stream, girls with pigtails flying in the breeze, bullock carts through dusty roads, fresh fish, paddy fields are some of the images she harks back to.
Images from Nature
These form a chequered background to her main subject, the woman. While a busy background narrates this life pictorially, nature is another subject that Victoria draws heavily from. Flowers, rivers, birds, fruits, animals is what finds favour in her artistic mind and thus on her canvas. The little squares that unfold the main theme of her paintings are replete with images from nature. Tradition too holds her. Lured by the depth of a dead language, Sanskrit, she studied it at Kalady and acquired a deep love for it. So women, nature and tradition bind her to artistic creativity, something she began as young as a six-year-old.
Her work as a social worker in the corporation of Cochin, she says, has given her a deeper insight to the travails of the woman and the child, which is the main theme of this series in acrylic. Victoria moves on struggling for more time to indulge in painting; to let the colours flow and take shape of the story she has to tell. Her works are presently on show at the Cochin art gallery, Fort Kochi.
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