The crux of the matter
The crux of the matter

The bold lines, leaning into each other, the strokes of black striking a dialogue with the white canvas, that seem continuous in their static state, which sometimes lends themselves to traces of colour – this in short describes the cavasses of artist Koeli Mukherjee, whose paintings exude intensity of thought, sometimes grey like the one you see in her works, or at times dark and brooding. Her inspirations drawn from self, from spirituality, from the literature she reads and her interaction with the world find an outlet through her works. 

Crux, her new body of works with 11 paintings and a few drawings currently on display at the Hamburg Hall, in her own words is yet another tryst with lines with dashes of water and oil colours; and like in many of her other works woman is in the center of her canvas. The women and her relentless commitment to chores, a sight that is so common that we hardly give it a second stare, gets an exalted place in Koeli’s world. She calls it a memory shrine or altar. The artist in showcasing the various chores that women from various walks of life indulge in, in the fields, going to work, at home, reiterates the need to view it as a form of violence, which she says is the crux of her works.

Bringing home this message was her small presentation to begin the show. She tells a story (a Japanese story that she heard a long time ago) and while doing so indulges in knitting deftly changing the wool strings from one hand to another as she relates the physical and emotional struggle of the protagonistsetting the tone for the show. As the audience was listening indulgently to Koeli, women’s commitment to bring the family together and reinforce the bond while they engage in a chore – was the underlying message portrayed beautifully well.  “I have seen so many women, mothers doing so many things together, and so I imagined myself like that,” she shared. It was indeed a simple way to present the most profound of the thoughts, just like her paintings that are simple in their complexity of thoughts and it is the artist manifests her inner self and its response to the external through her paintings. 

BY Rajeshwari Kalyanam

Next Article

Unmukt Festival begins December 15