Amidst a packed house at the Meghalayan Age – The Store, art work by women artists of Meghalaya was launched and celebrated over wine and cheese with music and a panel discussion providing meaningful interactions.
In a series titled ‘Her Art’, at the flagship State emporium in the Capital, the themes of birth, motherhood and matriliny took centre stage through mediums ranging from charcoal, coffee, cloth, clay, limestone and wood.
The concept of womanhood was explored threadbare through deeply personal art work that tried to encapsulate the beauty and fragility of being a woman in a society known for its matrilineal tradition.
Each art work, which will be on display at the store for a month, bears cultural motifs of the region and is derived from lived experiences of the 4 women artists being featured- Careen Joplin Langstieh, Rida Gatphoh, Balaiamon Kharngapkynta, Maya Lyngdoh Mawlong.
Art installation BIRTH is on display and it is a collaboration between Careen Joplin Langstieh, Rida Gatphoh. It is inspired by two different traditional practices relating to birth and motherhood while the depiction is symbolic of a khasi folklore around the same subject.
On one side are the 9 traditional clay pots that are generally used to make offerings to Mother Nature and to bathe the new-born child. On the other side is a series of 7 artworks that puts emphasis on motherhood in contemporary times revolving around the jain-it which is a strip of cloth used as a baby sling wrap. Beyond their utility, both the black clay pots and the jain-it are an integral piece of the khasi culture.
Talking about the significance of the ‘jain-it’, a strip of cloth used as a baby sling wrap, Careen Joplin Langstieh, on of the artist, said, “I did not realise the value of this cloth till I had my own children. It is an integral piece of Khasi culture and a precious piece of cloth that is the first gift to a new born child from the paternal grandmother.”
Actress Pavleen Gujral, known for her stellar role in Angry Indian Goddesses and more recently, Gehraiyaan, said, “Coming from the theatre background, art and culture have always been my driving force, be it as an actor, an emcee, a nutritionist or even as a social media influencer.”
She was joined by Mrs Indian Worldwide 2019 Alisha Madan, actor Avijit Dutt, Pablo Bartholomew, photographer Sarang Sena, and others in applauding the efforts of Meghalayan Age in bringing artists with their diverse mediums and expressions together.
The exhibition is on view till November 26, 2022.