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Different hues of one stark truth

- 12 artists from state attend Patna national camp on women’s plight

A woman, entwined by hissing snakes, cowers in fear.

Not only is it a strong visual imagery of helplessness, it is also a powerful call to stop violence against women. Coinciding with anti-rape protests sweeping the country, a dozen artists from Jharkhand brought alive the mute screams of abused women powerfully on canvas at a national art camp in Patna.

Held between January 5 and 7, the All-India Winter Artists’ Camp-2013 on the theme ‘women’s plight’ at Multipurpose Cultural complex of Bhartiya Nritya Kala Mandir in the Bihar capital saw the participation of 60 artists from across the country, including 12 from Jharkhand.

The timely event, organised by the Bihar state art and culture department in association with social outfit Srijan Bihar and Gyan Kiran, Patna, showed how the art fraternity reacted to the recent incidents of violence against women.

Participating artists from Jharkhand — Manoj Kumar Sinha, Dhruva Srivastava, Simmi Goswami, Rajesh Raj Ravi, Ujjwal Ghosh, Anand Prakash Mehta, Sonali Sinha, Suman Bharti, Mumpi Modak, Ranjana Ranjan, Sashi Bhushan and Vinod Ranjan — used disturbing imagery to express their anger and anguish.

Ujjwal Ghosh, a well known artist from Hazaribagh, showed a crying girl surrounded by baying animals. He admitted that the Delhi bus rape tragedy had spurred the bestial metaphor. “It has disturbed me immensely,” he said. Ranchi’s Dhruv Srivastawa painted a woman struggling against two snakes. “Here, the snakes can be individuals or the oppressive social mindset,” he said.

Woman artist Simmi Goswami, also from Ranchi, expressed the female vulnerability of shame. “The victim in my canvas is covering her face in shame as she is clueless about where to find solace. This shame should be felt by society instead,” she said.

Ranchi artist Rajesh Raj Ravi’s canvas depicted the synergy of nature and the feminine form of beauty with a poignant twist. “The woman is peeping from the sky as mother earth has failed to protect her,” he said.

On the other hand, Manoj Sinha, also from the capital, portrayed strength and beauty of women. “Despite problems, woman has energy and guts to look at life in the eye,” said the artist.

All the artists got their certificates from Bihar state department on Monday. They will be back from Patna on Tuesday.