She stands on one leg, with her hair tied in a bun. The deep red of her attire merges with the backdrop of the canvas where swordsmen are fighting a gory battle, at times in the name of religion with bows and arrows, and a trishul flying in the air. A tiger attacks a cow, perhaps like rapists would pounce on their victims. The depiction is Arpana Caur’s tribute to the Delhi gang rape victim.
Part of the exhibition titled “Nirbhaya” Caur’s work shares space with more than 50 others at Dhoomimal Gallery. “The incident brought immense shame to the nation. It united everyone to fight and pray for this girl,” says gallerist Uday Jain. The exhibition is conceptualised to pay homage to the December 2012 gang rape victim and others like her who lost their lives to similar atrocities.
If Sanjay Bhattacharya has black flags fluttering in a stark projection, Nupur Kundu paints thick brush strokes in an abstract. A female nude stoops to gaze at a flower in a Paresh Maity work, and curator KR Subbanna plays with the word “Promise” on a toothpaste tube, portraying how the promise of safety is broken, against a dark jungle with a branch dipped in red. “The rape victims haven’t died, they have moved to a better world, where no rape would ever happen,” says Subbanna, on a philosophical note.
The exhibition at Dhoomimal Gallery, G-42,Connaught Place, is on till May 25. Contact: 41516056
This story appeared in print under the headline Blood ties