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Born   6 Jan 1979, Jamshedpur, India. 

 

ARTICLE 

   

"Curios of a different kind"

 

Moumita’s  works are replete with human faces and figures – male and female both – and birds, flowers, fishes, butterflies, reptiles also inhabit these, with a certain strange looking appearance. They seem to locate themselves with an expression of ‘where are we/ searching for what? Solace? But where is that? Who is going to give us love and care?’ their faces, and gestures are lit large with question marks of various kinds, and moods. But howsoever strange they may appear, these are not ‘distorted’ figures, as they embody an innocence, and a sensitivity of their own. Their emergence is sure and direct, like we see objects and figures in dreams, where they may not appear in the shapes and sizes of normal nature, and familiar delineations, but in any case they are there, claiming a rugged reality. And we all like to decode them according to our own interpretations and perceptions.

But Moumita’s world is not a wonderland or dreamland only, although it has an affinity with dreams to a an extent. Infact it is about the process of trying to know the cause(s) of one’s joys and sufferings, and while experiencing them, wanting to know how they have affected the body and soul. Simultaneously searching for reassurances to bring oneself on one’s feet again. No wonder in some of the paintings, we find a drawing also of romping figures, and in some paintings the faces and figures seem to float, striving for a firm landing. Moumita is a painter of moods also, and perhaps at the spur of the moment,  brush or pen in hand, she paints/draws her feelings in visual terms. In her paintings detailing does not occur, and whatever we are seeing is drawn separately, not as a ‘detail’. Thus in her works, each image has a ‘separate’ identity as well, and when they come together a context is formed.

A person inflicted with pain or injury or showered with joy does not remain the same in appearance – this also is amply demonstrated by Moumita’s ‘characters’ so to say. There is a painting where certain motifs have been hung, like clothes are hung on a wire. Once we fix our gaze at them, we realize that these are motifs which have been used as signifiers also, and their visual appearance is akin to props in a Theatre. Thus gradually it may occur that one is seeing something of a Theatre/ circus as well, where things apear somewhat differently. 

This also brings to mind that in her earlier paintings joker/jester had a role to play. But we must conclude with the fact, that while she uses some elements of theatre, she uses them without theatricalities. 

This ‘Theatre’ then has evolved naturally, organically, and there is no ‘acting’ as such is involved. By bearing, and then baring, the experiences of agony, grief, pain, compassion, and also of momentous Joy, Moumita creates a world, which is not depressing, but is uplifting in a sense. 

Some people try to suggest that Moumita’s works are close to child art on Naïve Art, but this is not true. In fact she is ‘aware’ about the things she is depicting. She never romanticizes her images. The only thing is that she treats them raw, so a swollen lip, or eye wide open, look somewhat akin to ‘Child Art or naïve Art’.

Moumita also draws/ paints faces in duplicate, and puts them, and us in a quandary. But this is not to puzzle us, but to show how a particular experience is being transmitted visually. Her sources are many, from primitive to pop to painterly. Her colours have a glow and charm of their own. Her visual vocabulary has kept on increasing, and her latest works on paper are literally laced with laces, and glue, and are innovative and poetic. 

With a sense of irony, and subtle wit and humour (as is exemplified in painting where three female figures seem to struggle with sartorial options) she captures the quintessence of myriad moods, and emotions, related to the very process of experiencing life. Initially we feel unsettled infront of her curios, but gradually come to terms with them. And start realizing their connotative value as well. 

(Prayag Shukla)

 

EXHIBITIONS

2013    'Confluence des Arts' a group show of 100 artists at Gallery Artchill, Amber Fort, jaipur. 

2012    Solo Show Curios of A Different Kind,  

2012    Mending Fences Group Exhibition, Art Gallery, Science Centre, Citylight, Surat.No Place Like Home, Residency & Group Show, Harrison Center for the Arts, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. Broadening the Canvas: Celebrating Blemishes, Group Show, ICCR Kolkata.

2011     I Have the Right—Group Show, Picture Art Foundation, California State University, Dominguez Hills, California, USA. Group Show, Art World Gallery, Chennai. I Resurrect, Solo Show at Reflection Art Gallery, New Delhi. Chehra, Group Show organized by Global Health Advocates, India on at Religare Art, New Delhi.

2010     15thContemporary All Women Group Show, Gowry Art Institute and Lalit Kala Akademi, Thiruvanthapuram, Kerala. Artist Residency at Reflection Art Gallery & Studios, New Delhi. The Spirit of a Butterfly, Group Show curated by Prayag Shukla at Art & Soul Gallery, Mumbai.

2009     Surreal Secrets, Group Show organized by Art World Gallery, Chennai. Group Show, organized by Art World Gallery, Chennai.

2008     6th Asian Woman Group Show, Van Cleve Gallery, San Diego, CA, USA. Solo Show, Gallery Art Chill, Amber Fort, Jaipur.

2007     East Zone Camel Art Exhibition, Patna. Cross Culture—Group Show, Murphy Hill Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Art Cuisine—Group Show, Gallery ArtChill, Coomarswamy Hall, Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai.

2006     Group 10, Art Exhibition  at Juneja Art Gallery, Jaipur.

2005     Mixed Flavours—All India Group Show by Women Painters, Juneja Art Gallery, Jaipur.

Group Show—Art Bazaar, Juneja Art Gallery, Jaipur.

2004     Participated in Kala Mela at Birla Academy of Art & Culture, Kolkata.

2003     Solo Show, Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata.Palash, Art Camp organized by CARDS at Ranchi.

2001     Solo Show, Centre for Excellence, Jamshedpur.  

 

COLLECTIONS

Works are in many prestigious private & Govt. collections in India & Abroad.

BRIAN G LONG – CANADA, RITA PRITOULA – DOMINCAN REPUBLIC,  Marija Joyce – Australia, Sergio Amati – Italy, Michael d Elyea – U.S.A, BRETA BALLOU  – U.S.A,   ANOOP BARTARIA, WORLD TRADE PARK

JAIPUR, DREAM NEGOTIANTS – JAIPUR, Siri Berg – Norway, MR. RINGO – U.S.A, GIANPIERO COPPOLA, DANIEL BARNETT – AUSTRALIA, KALPANA SINGH – MUMBAI, Michael files – U.S.A, klaus aberle – AusTRALIA, Wasmaiah Ali Almutawa – Quwait, Siri Berg – Norway, Brian G Long – Canada, Patrick Kelly – Hongkong, t. otis paul, Israel – Mexico, R. F. PROPERTIES, J. VAN DE BUNTE, WORLD TRADE PARK – JAIPUR, JAMES SOBIESKI – U.S.A, ANJANA SETHIA – DELHI, KARI KARPPINEW, VAN CLEVE COLLECTION – U.S.A, MS. PIERRETTE – U.S.A, HARRIS LEGOME – NEW JERSEY, ARTCHILL PERMANENT COLLECTION, MR. MANCKE, A.S. CHOULIARAS – GREECE , PRAYAG SHUKLA- DELHI, MR. HARRIS – U.S.A., MR. SAJID KHAN – MUMBAI, BETH KRUPA – CONNECTICUT, MS. CARROU – U.S.A., LOUIS GRAHAM, MR. CARRA FRANCO – ITLAY. CATHERINE THIRY – FRANCE , MS. REUT MAOZ – ISRAEL , MS. ISABELLA NARDI – ITALY, mS. FULYA TANRIKULU – TURKEY, Bryan Barbel – U.A.S, ms. Stacey. l. Allen  - Australia, MR. ANIL ANAND - FRANCE.