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Devi, an exhibition that shows various manifestations of the Goddess

The exhibition shows various manifestations of the Goddess, as represented in art from different periods, regions, and mediums.

Hasrat Sandhu | New Delhi |

The current exhibition Devi aims to focus on the Indian Folk artists who never lose a chance to capture the beauty of nature, and women who are one such fine beings.

Devi has many manifestations. She is benign and gentle to her devotees and seekers, the protector of the ones who invoke her. She is the “Aditi”- the mother of Gods, the one in whose shelter the mortal beings find refuge.

This exhibition is a collection of women as Devi coming from Kalighat  Pattachitra, Madhubani, Folk Art from Assam, Bengal Scroll Paintings, Raghurajpur Pattachitra from Odisha, Mata ni Pachedi (Gujarat), Pichwai, shadow puppet, Bhoota Wooden sculpture from Karnataka, Calendar Art Masterworks, Lobby Cards and Movie posters, and Jain Paintings. 

This exhibition will feature women who will accentuate its exquisiteness in its way while representing its region and popularity. 

The exhibition shows various manifestations of the Goddess, as represented in art from different periods, regions, and mediums.

The striking wooden sculpture, representing the ‘Village Devi”, a wooden bust of the “Devi” as the protector from snakes, both from Karnataka and an early Bengal school – oil on canvas, depicting “Mahishasur Mardini”, are just a few among many other exhibits representing the goddess – Devi.

The Devi has been a popular theme with Hindi cinema and the viewers often mistook the actors as real divinity and revered them with the same emotions and sentiments as they experienced in the temples. The exhibition includes some of the “Lobby cards” of the movies based on Goddesses.

As a mark of respect, the woman in India is addressed as ‘Devi’, and the term has been part of the dialogues in the Indian classic cinema where the woman, regardless of her background, is addressed as ‘Devi’. The exhibition covers this aspect of usage that, once, was an ethical part of Indian society.

A unique representation of Devi, as depicted through Folk & Tribal Art, Calendar Art, and Lobby cards, the exhibition is a visual experience of the one
who presides in all forms; an ode to the woman, present in different forms – The
Devi. 

The Curator Dr Seema Bhalla is an art historian with her PhD in Indian Miniature painting. She is passionate about research and has published extensively in her areas of interest that includes – Art (Traditional and Contemporary), Architecture, Textiles, Jewellery, Culture and Heritage (tangible and intangible). She has also worked in the fashion industry till 1998 followed by restoration of antique furniture of Portuguese, Dutch, French, and British origin in India and has done Heritage interiors. She lives between Delhi and Chandigarh.