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Wind (the beautiful maiden with her flowing hair)

Pushpa Kumari2015

Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)

Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)

This work by Pushpa Kumari (India b.1969) address stories of love and union from Hindu mythology. It illustrates the story of Sita, from the Hindu epic the Ramayana, in which Sita is abducted by the demon king Ravana, and the narrative follows Rama and his brother on their journey to find her. Sita’s birthplace was said to be in Bihar, the home of Mithila painting, and she is sometimes referred to as the princess of Mithila.

Dating from at least the 14th Century, Mithila painting and drawing was traditionally practised by women in the Mithila region of Bihar in northern India and Nepal.

Mithila works are characterised by intricate line drawing, geometric patterns and elaborate symbolism — fish represent fertility, peacocks are associated with love, and serpents with divinity. For centuries it was used to mark rituals and ceremonies, particularly weddings, and created mostly on the walls of people’s homes.

Kumari retains the distinctive styles and conventions of Mithila painting while addressing new subjects such as women’s rights in India.

Exhibited in 'The 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art' (APT8) | 21 Nov 2015 – 10 Apr 2016

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