Her works of art stand out because of the stark contrast between dark shades and vibrant colours. The 22-year-old artist Maitri Biswadhara Majhi’s exhibition Naari - Defining Womanhood, explores the multi-faceted personality of women.
The artist, who believes that the spectrum of life is reflected best through the eyes of the woman, has portrayed life through various emotions - dedication, love, hate or deceit. With contemporary figurative art, she explores the realm of a woman’s thought process. Most of Maitri’s figures are dusty sketches of women and an omnipresent red streak of paint brings out the feminine qualities.
In two of the paintings representing man and woman, she has showcased the outline of a woman surrounded by red swirls, stressing on the notion that women think from their heart. And in her representation of the man, the physicality of the man comes out boldly. Moving on to her depictions of the many moods and phases in a woman’s life, the matrimonial picture brings out sublime emotion, the bride with her head down, cheeks flushing red and a big ‘bindi’ on her forehead, as her sensuality is presented nestled in the petals of a charcoal lotus. Another frame, where a figurine is dressed in a long and red dress, against a spiral of charcoal - where the woman begins the cycle of life, a routine she can never get out of. Her paintings also include a series portraying matrimonial bliss.
Some of her paintings are related to various festivals like Raja, Shivaratri, Kartik Purnima, Sabitri and Raksha Bandhan with which women are closely associated. The use of bright colours is deliberate, says Maitri who feels the hues represent life and positive energy that women have aplenty. Two of her most interesting pieces are ‘Vasudha’ which signifies the mother Earth and ‘Journey of a Woman’ where she compares the fairer sex with a tree that is forever in bloom. “Just like a tree which provides so much to humanity, a woman from her birth till death plays so many roles,” says Maitri.
Interestingly, the artist holds no degree in painting. She is a management student of Indian Institute of Planning and Management and this is her first solo exhibition. “I have been associated with colours since the age of two as my mother was into painting. I remember when she drew on a canvas, I used to play with her colours. I have been pursuing art as a hobby since my school days, but never got a chance to do a professional degree in this stream,” she says, adding, her mother is her inspiration. “My next series will be on black and white,” she further says.
The exhibition showcasing 29 paintings is on at Rashtriya Lalit Kala Akademi till Saturday.