As the country gears up for the upcoming festivities, a special exhibition centering on Devi Durga is all set to launch online. Titled ‘Shakti: Nine Forms of Divinity’, the exhibition features works by eminent contemporary artist, Jayasri Burman. In the words of the artist, «For me, Shakti is the essence of goodness, with which we protect ourselves and our dear ones, and fight wrongdoings. Shakti establishes a symbiotic harmony with love and peace, to bring about better earth and empowered humanity.”

The exhibition is being hosted by Gallery Art Exposure and opens on its website on 17th October 2020. Somak Mitra, Director of Gallery Art Exposure describes Burman’s paintings as warm, richly-hued, and fantastic and a reflection of the soul of the artist in all its passion and strength. «Jayasri’s dream-like lyrical works remind one of an intricate tapestry, weaving the design element of folk-art into the intricate patterns of mythical figures and forms set in utopian natural surroundings. The artist sees women as free and divine – as both creatures of nature and Mother Goddesses,” he adds.

Jayasri Burman’s depictions of the Goddess, using her distinctive motifs and a vibrant colour palette, are derived from her childhood experiences and her articulation of mythology. Writer and curator Ina Puri says, “While the artist’s vision draws inspiration from the scriptures and the Chandi Path she had memorized in girlhood, she uses the trope of the ancient tradition to juxtapose it with the contemporary and it is through this juxtaposition that she arrives at her unique artistic oeuvre,” adding, “Her myths, legends, and fables become in their retelling also a narration about the environment.”

“Coming to the present suite, Jayasri paints in imaginative details the different manifestations of Devi as she appears in the ancient texts, each form different from the other in temperament, appearance, and spirit. The palette changes following the depiction, therefore, the raging figure of Kali is painted in shades of deep indigo, while softer, radiant mustard is used to portray the luminosity of Durga,” Puri says, describing the works in the exhibition.

As the country prepares for Durga Puja this year amidst the ongoing pandemic, Burman draws her inspiration from ancient Sanskrit texts where it is said that Nobo Durga wards off evil and pestilence and, by worshipping her, the world will protect itself from further calamities. “While that remains to be seen, Jayasri Burman is delighted to be back in her native city as it prepares for Durga Puja, once more,” says Puri.

The exhibition goes live on 17th October on the Art Exposure website and is scheduled to stay till 17th November 2020.