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A chic twist to Mysore art

art and culture Updated: Oct 17, 2013 18:38 IST
Aakriti Sawhney
Aakriti Sawhney
Hindustan Times
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Artist Heerina Mishra was always interested in arts as a child. But she feels she never got the push to take up art professionally. So after her marriage in 1997, she decided to formally train herself in Tanjore and Mysore paintings. “When I started learning Mysore art, I tried to experiment with the form and added my own flavour to it. Each new work built my confidence and that’s when I decided to contemporise this art form,” says Misra, who opens her second solo in the Capital on October 21.

Titled Faith 2013, the exhibition has 12 contemporary Mysore paintings on display that Misra has completed over the last one year. What makes these paintings interesting is the culmination of many different techniques that Misra has used.

These techniques include using stone textures mixed with gloss, life-sized deities that have more human-like faces, and surprisingly, some even faceless. Misra believes these changes are the need of the hour. “Due to its traditional nature, many of these paintings do not go well with the theme of modern homes. Experimentation adds to it,” she says. Explaining one of the works, Arjun’s Penance, from her upcoming show, Misra says, “The work is inspired by the 100-feet high monument located in Mahabalipuram. Carved out of two monolithic rock boulders, it tells the story of the descent of the Ganges to earth, from heaven.”

The work is beautifully done in black and gold stone texture and has hues of green and blue. So has this ritual of making Mysore paintings turned her religious? “I was always religious but not ritualistic. Mythological stories have always fascinated me; I read a lot of them, and this, in return, helps me in my work, which is my ritual.”

Fact File
Faith 2013, an art show
Where: Murray Harris Room, The Australian High Commission, 1/50-G, Shantipath, Panchsheel Marg, Chanakyapuri (access via Gate No. 1)
When: October 18 to 24
Timings: 9am to 4pm
Nearest Metro Station: Race Course on the Yellow Line