Through Her Mixed Media Art, Limatola Longkumer Wants Women To Find Power In Their Sexuality
- IWB Post
- June 10, 2019
“My activism as an erotic artist lies in my rebellion against all the repressive forces in our society which make it a taboo to talk about sex and sexuality,” says illustrator Limatola Longkumer.
Through her mixed media art, Limatola aims to open the conversation on women’s sexuality and free it from all the stigma and shame that it is surrounded with. As she juxtaposes varying mediums, she creates a heady effect which entraps you in the enchanting world of art while making a statement.
Born and brought up in Nagaland, Limatola found herself gravitating towards erotic art when she realised that nobody in her culture wanted to discuss the idea of sexuality, the very basis of human life. Women, she felt, were especially shy and there was hardly any sex education whatsoever.
She shares, “When I looked around, I always saw a group of really strong and empowered women. Be it my friends, my mom, or my aunts, they were all very inspiring women. However, when it came to talking about sexuality, women would shy away from it. I felt like they were suppressing that side of their personality. That is how I decided that I wanted to bring that out and inspire women to not be free and not be ashamed of their sexuality.”
*Ode to all the beautiful women . Happy women’s day * #limatolalongkumerillustrations #womensday #lineart #brushpen #art #instaartist #instaart #gifart #videoart #mixmedia #micron #octopus #jellyfish #chrysanthemum
63 Likes, 0 Comments – Limatola Longkumer (yume) (@limatola.longkumer) on Instagram: “*Ode to all the beautiful women . Happy women’s day * #limatolalongkumerillustrations…”
“I decided that I wanted to impact a change through my art and initiate a conversation on the topic. I wanted to empower people through it, especially women, so they get stirred to know themselves better, be one with the self, and learn to love and understand their bodies,” she adds.
Drawing entangled patterns inside linear and neatly geometric forms is an integral part of Limatola’s aesthetic. As she explains, for her, it’s like weaving herself inside the artwork. She explains, “What I want to project here is that there is no wall or barrier between the artwork, the artist, and the one perceiving it.”
Thus, she weaves the artist right into the artwork, at the easy disposal of those who see it. “I want to give out the idea that, just like me, the interpreter can also be free enough to speak about her body and sexuality sans any inhibitions,” she says.
If you go through Limatola’s Instagram, you can’t help but notice the eccentric symbolism in her artwork further accentuated by multi-media techniques. Bananas, flowers, and fish are some of the recurring symbols which you are sure to see every now and then.
“We could be high on feeling requisite Under the thoughts, give me your love, give me your bones We could have love on fire I give it all up for bad love” – @ryxhart bad love . #limatolalongkumerillustrations #yume #lineart #gifart #instaartist #art #videoart #ryx #badlove #lyricsandart #songs
70 Likes, 2 Comments – Limatola Longkumer (yume) (@limatola.longkumer) on Instagram: “”We could be high on feeling requisite Under the thoughts, give me your love, give me your bones We…”
When asked about the underlying meaning and relevance of the symbolism, she answers, “I don’t use these symbols for a specific meaning or purpose. I leave them open for interpretation. I want people to see things and react to them.”
She adds, “For instance, if I have used apple and banana in one of my illustrations then I’d wait for the onlooker to make meaning out of it. While some people interpret them as sexual metaphors, others just see them as they are i.e. fruits.” Thus, we get to the purpose of this exercise which, as Limatola explains, is to felicitate looking at her artwork “with both a sensual as well an innocent angle, to understand sexuality as something beyond our base understanding of it.”
In a lot of her artwork, women are illustrated as really powerful, larger-than-life characters. In fact, in one of her illustrations that I found particularly intriguing, a woman is seen holding the entire universe in place of her vagina.
Speaking on the illustration, Limatola shares, “I believe that the whole universe lies in the womb or genitals of a woman. I want women to realise the power that we have in our vagina. We are the ones who bring life to Earth and that’s a big deal. Thus, I want women to be empowered by their genitals instead of being embarrassed by them like they have been conditioned to do.”
“Come a little bit closer Hear what I have to say Just like children sleepin’ We could dream this night away But there’s a full moon risin’ Let’s go dancin’ in the light We know where the music’s playin’ Let’s go out and feel the night Because I’m still in love with you I want to see you dance again Because I’m still in love with you On this harvest moon When we were strangers I watched you from afar When we were lovers I loved you with all my heart But now it’s gettin’ late And the moon is climbin’ high I want to celebrate See it shinin’ in your eye”~ HARVEST MOON, Neil young. #limatolalongkumerillustrations #harvestmoon #lyrics #musicandart #music #art #instaart #artist #blackandwhite #micron #illustration
66 Likes, 0 Comments – Limatola Longkumer (yume) (@limatola.longkumer) on Instagram: “”Come a little bit closer Hear what I have to say Just like children sleepin’ We could dream this…”
While we have always ignored the Northeast from the central narrative of the country, it is a matter of great accolades that an artist from the region is not only addressing an issue which is relevant to the entire country but doing it sans any distinction in her mind. It is rather encouraging to see her dismantle the boundaries, both geographical and ideological.
Image and artwork source: Limatola’s Instagram