Chennai: When the Association of British Scholars decided to curate an art show that would reflect Chennai in its full glory, they looked no further than Tamil Nadu’s women artists. Taking a cue from one of the elements that define a Tamilian woman, the jasmine flower, they christened their exhibition, ‘Madras Jasmine’. What’s interesting is the participation of 23 women artists based in Chennai, who put together paintings, sculptures and installations.
Kamala Ravikumar, an art teacher for more than 15 years, exhibited bronze sculptures, depicting yoga mudras, such as Dhyani and Chakravakasana. She feels the title was apt for the exhibition.
“Think of the Tamilian woman and her Kanjeevaram sari would be incomplete without jasmine flowers. The jasmine is her very identity,” she says.
Asma Menon, who exhibited paintings on flora and fauna, cannot but endorse this. “The jasmine is synonymous with one of the early morning rituals a woman in Tamil Nadu practises. Soon after her morning shower, she ensures that she adorns her hair with jasmine flowers. It is the symbol of a woman’s beauty,” she says.
According to Sandhya Gopinath, an independent art teacher, who contributed a unique musical installation with paper for the exhibition, Chennai has a long way to go in terms of art. “The exhibition by women is a breath of fresh air and it is not every other day that one sees such events in Chennai. It is a good exercise, giving such a promising platform for women artists here.”
Parvathi Nayar, who exhibited the various emblematic elements of Chennai through maps, says, “The putting together of various female artists in this manner is in itself a powerful message of solidarity, and I only feel fortunate to join the cause through art.” The team is also charting out a talk show where the participants will share their work and experience with each other.