The story of Rama has found its way out of the dog-eared, yellowed mythological books to our urban consciousness, modern interpretations and, most significantly, to many a generation’s artistic sensibilities. Yet Neeta Singh’s Rama is a shade different. The 37-year-old housewife’s Rama comes alive not just through brushstrokes and dabs of colours, but also acquires a new meaning in an attempt to show love, compassion and complete submission. It is about relevance of Rama till eternity.
A science graduate, Singh’s moments of despair and self-doubt has led her to resurrect the epic Ramayana with her debut solo exhibition titled “Resplendent Rama and Cosmic Camaraderie”. The show took place on May 23-29 at Lalit Kala Akademy.
Having worked on the series for five years, Singh’s treatment of the Ramayana touches a delicate note. On one canvas, mother Kaushalya helps her toddler son take his first steps, while another depicts a lonely Sita deeply immersed in thoughts of Rama. In the latter, Singh plays her imagination to the hilt when she shows the reflection of an absent Rama on reclining Sita. “When Sita keeps thinking of Rama all the time, it is about ‘without you, yet within you’. For me, Sita and Rama tell the entire story of human emotions and of compassion”, says Singh, who is based in Sahibabad, Ghaziabad.
Another painting shows Rama and Sita holding a bow together, which looks like a crescent. While the merged Rama and Sita hint at ardhnarishwar (half-man, half-woman) form of Shiva-Parvati, the crescent brings in nature to strike a cosmic harmony.
Singh’s subjects are swathed in graceful strokes and bright colours, reflecting pure emotions. Her preference of vibrant colours reflect brighter side of life. A self-taught artist, Neeta has learnt the nuances of painting from senior artist Ramchandra Pokale. “Though there is always scope for improvement in pursuit of excellence, she has been able to portray her feelings on canvas very powerfully,”.he says.
Apart from her first solo, Singh also has to her credit about half a dozen group shows held in last three years at the Capitals AIFACS gallery, Coomarswamy Hall, AKS Art Gallery and P.L. Deshpande Hall in Mumbai, and a charity show by Kalamandala, Dharwaad, for Uttarakhand flood victims at Mayur Aditya Resort ,Karnataka. At Feminal Cosmology in 2014, she was the youngest artist.