It Is Atrocious, The Condition Of Women In This Country: 63 Y.O. Artist Pushpamala N
- IWB Post
- February 9, 2019
“The rape in 2012 was a key moment. I think it awakened all us. The country responded everyone responded in whatever way they could. It is atrocious, the condition of women in this country. How can the art then be about anything else,” said 63-year-old renowned Bengaluru-based artist Pushpamala N, 63.
She started out as an artist during India’s first feminist movement. “My work has always been feminist, my art was born out of that first movement around the world. We read feminist texts and discussed art and film back then,” she said. The focus of many of her projects is women and the harassment they face from day to day, a stark example of which is the Delhi gang-rape of 2012.
“I remember when I was in college in the 70s. There was a group of boys who would gather at the end of the lane and every day they would pass lewd comments, call me a bitch. My whole body would burn with anger, and I had to pass through that area every day, it was unavoidable,” she said
“I love to ride the scooter. I live close to the highway and it used to be fun. But I had to get a car because as a woman you automatically become the target of men riding their bikes on the road. They come close and stare at you. I have had so many accidents, hit by a bus, by a truck, by a rickshaw. I would lie in the middle of the road with torn clothes and not one of the fifty men who stood around me then would come forward to help. They assumed it is the woman’s fault. It is just another form of racism,” she added.
In her photographs, which have the element of theatre and studio photography, she is her own subject, like in one of them she has posed as Raja Ravi Varma’s Laxmi, Sita and Kaikeyi and many other iconic women. In her latest work, she appears as Durga and Bharat Mata.