It is amazing how artists can use artwork as a way of demonstrating a point or an issue that is close to their heart. Arthi Srinivasan is one such artist, who, at this point in time is involved in raising awareness on the education of children in rural India. Her current series, titled ‘Emancipation from Distress’ showcases the ploys of rural Indian woman to provide for her children. The following painting showcases one such way that the rural Indian woman would want to do so, even if it means asking for milk – something a modern woman blessed with abundant life would be able to afford without even thinking of it.
Arthi’s style of painting is largely abstract figurative, is reminiscent of pop art with use of vibrant colors and bold brush strokes.
The series of paintings may, at first instance, feel rather depressing because according to Arthi, “It reminds as that somewhere along the way, the efforts of NGOs are wasted because they are concerned only with garnering the votes of the rural Indian population. Subsequently, the focal point of education for the rural Indian children is left on the wayside.”
Arthi has used quotes from Mahatma Gandhi and Russian philosopher, Eli Khamorov, on the subject of education to help express her feelings and translate them onto the canvas as well as into Hindi and Tamil, her own native language. “I want to draw parallels to affluent children whose parents can afford basic education. There is nothing else different between these children except that money rules in favour of the latter and forces the former to live under impoverished conditions.”
A bit about Arthi herself. She is a self-taught artist who has been inspired by various artists that represent different art genres such as Van Gogh, Modigliani, Raja Ravi Verma, Andy Warhol and Mark Rothko. Her work has been showcased in group exhibitions in Dubai and Mumbai.
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