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Usual theme, unique medium



WOMEN POWER: One of Aasha Radhika's works

EGG TEMPERA as a medium helps to maintain the freshness of colours and also enables the artist to create varied textures; for instance it can appear like pastels or oils, as the case may be. These possibilities have made Aasha Radhika choose egg tempera as a preferred medium for her paintings. She uses it to advantage to express her thoughts about the girl child.

The mask comes in use as a motif often to depict Aasha's ideas on the life of girls. Older women often tell the girls how to behave in different situations; she can hardly be her true self at any time and has to put on a `mask'. Aasha depicts the girl hugging a mask or hanging it as a bib around her neck. At the other end, a small girl imagines a toy horse to be a real one; here, the horse is shown wearing a mask. A mother too has to wear `masks' when dealing with her two daughters, so that neither feels neglected.

Self-taught artist

Aasha has been fascinated by colours since childhood; this fact seems to be the subject of her work in which a young girl is seen admiring a peacock. Though self-taught, she has gained felicity in using colours and lines. She moulds the forms mainly through the lines, using light and shade minimally. It is the placement of the figures which lends depth to the imagery. There is a childlike simplicity to her style of figuration, but at the same time a lucidity in the facial expressions, particularly the eyes. The exhibition of her paintings at the Lakshana Art Gallery also has on show a few of her ink drawings. Being a member of the Egg Tempera Society, she was invited by the Rice University, Houston, Texas, to conduct workshops, which gave her a chance to exhibit her works in the U.S. and interact with artists. She has also held solo shows and participated in group shows at Hyderabad, where she lives and works. The show is on till September 12 (11 a.m. - 8 p.m.)

LAKSHMI VENKATRAMAN

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