Tribal Series

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Solo painting exhibition by Artist Jyoti Sateeja from 10th to 16th July 2014 at Lalit Kala Akademy, RabindraBhawan, New Delhi

Show Title: “Strength and Dignity” Inaugurated on 10th July by Laxmi, an Acid Attack Fighter and winner of the International women of Courage award 2014, felicitated by Michelle Obama.

I’ve dedicated my solo show “Strength and Dignity” to the underprivileged tribal unwed mothers of Odisha and their children. I’ve tried to capture the myriad expressions and emotions of womanhood and motherhood through the portrayals of these tribal women. I have made a series of paintings based on the Kalahandi Tribes.I have voluntarily associated with Dharti Foundation, an NGO, and have been observing very closely the amount of struggle this NGO is undergoing for a tribal cause, one which has also been an integral part of the underprivileged sector of India. I also made portraitsto promote the prohibition of child labour and abuse.

I’ve always wanted to do something concrete for the underprivileged tribal women and kids of India, and when I came across Dharti Foundation’s work it inspired me to express those feelings and expressions through my paintings.

In this series, my paintings depict motherhood and womanhood through the portraits oftribal women and their children. My painting titled “Holding the Heart Forever”, which won the first prize at an All India level competition conducted by Fusion Arts in 2013, shows the bond between a mother and her child. A mother’s love is something we keep locked deep in our hearts, always knowing it will be there to comfort us. The way the child is tightly held with the help of a cloth, makingthem feel so secure and safe. For a child, the safest place on earth is his mother’s arms. A mother’s arms are made of tenderness and love and her children sleep soundly in them. The vibrantly coloured backgrounds represent the emotions of passion, desire, love, and strength of a mother, be it an underprivileged tribal woman.

Another painting titled “That Best Academy, a Mother’s Knee” also depicts the significant essence of being a mother, which also makes a woman the first teacher to her child.Whatever a child learns comes from the mother. This painting also captured male dominance that overshadows the strong feelings of motherhood.

My Painting titled “From motherhood to womanhood” captures the expressions of being a woman and a mother.

My painting titled “Wish for some peace” and “A few moments of Joy” conveysthe message of abolishing the bad practice of child labour. A girl who is a child labourer is wishing to be a child again when she can play and not have to work. The moon signifies the peace and hope that the girl wants. She hopes that one day the darkness of this bad practice would be overcome by the brightness of moon, and she has been waiting to be a child again. White signifies a new beginning for the child. Black represents the darkness in the child’s life that prevails with the shadow of child labour. The moment a child is born in the underprivileged sector; this shadow appears in the form of child labour. The white signifies the peace and hope that a child looks for and his innocence which is always overshadowed by this bad practice of child labour in the form of darkness. A child is always ignorant of this darkness and hopes for a new start.