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Canvassing for children

Bini Roy paints a grim picture of underprivileged children in Cambodia


Bini Roy's colours have painted a sensitive canvas that captures the trauma of children who have lost their childhood in their desperate struggle to live. Her ongoing exhibition at Vyloppilly Samskriti Bhavan, named `Weaving an Asian Canvas,' gives us glimpses of life in Cambodia. She has also painted a wide range flowers in varied tones and shades.

Mixed media

Apart from her works in acrylics and oil, it is her dexterity in using mixed media that catches the eye. Also on display is the painting `Three Widows,' which earned her the Lalitakala Akademi Award of 2003. This painting won her wide acclaim and is one of her best creations. The painting portrays three women, helplessness and desolation writ large on their faces. The lotus flowers in their hands signify hopes and aspirations.

The despondent, lost look is seen in many of her paintings that depict children. "The look of despondency on these children is hard to ignore. This stems from their hard life.

"These children are forced to earn their living as roadside vendors, kite sellers or sex workers," says Bini. `Children in Park,' `Kitesellers,' and `Girl in Blue,' portray the sad lives of such children. `Kitesellers' depicts three children selling multicoloured kites. These bright colours are noticeably lacking in their lives. `Girl in Blue,' highlights the pathetic look on the face of a child, accentuated with bright shades of blue.

`Apsara,' the Cambodian version, portrays a face swathed in a long, plaited mane. This is done on acrylic and ink on hand-made paper.

On the other hand, paintings of flowers like lotus, anthurium and nishagandhi add a dash of colour and help viewers to recover from the poignant scenes of the series on children. In shades of red, blue and yellow, the paintings capture vibrant nature in all her splendour.

Haunting images

Bini has been working on these paintings since she came to Thiruvananthapuram in 2002. "Images of life in Cambodia had been haunting me since I came to Kerala. The outcome was these paintings,'' she says. The exhibition is on till February 13.

AMBIKA VARMA

Photo: S. Gopakumar

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