Watercolour on paper
10 x 7 in | 25.4 x 17.8 cm
Rekha Rodwittiya was born in Bangalore in 1958. She specialised in painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Baroda (B.F.A.1981), and completed her M.A. in Painting with an Inlaks Scholarship from the Royal College of Art, London (1984). Her first solo show in 1982 in Baroda was followed by nineteen solo shows in New Delhi, Mumbai, Madras, Stockholm, Bangalore and Kolkata.
Over the years, Rodwittiya has established a strong, politically vigilant feminist practice that sanctioned her representation of the female figure in a non-voyeuristic manner. The female figures in her work from the 1980s and early 1990s were often tormented and anguished, negotiating antagonistic surroundings. In her more recent works, however, she celebrates the female form by presenting it in domestic, intimate situations, very often omitting masculine figures and almost always soaked in bright, bold tones of red. Rodwittiya’s sensitivity as an artist is apparent as she draws from personal beliefs, values, thoughts and emotions of her own past experiences to portray the complexities of life that emphasise issues of love, life, alienation, discrimination and acceptance. It is her belief that life and art are inseparable and notes, “I go through all the terror and agony of stepping into an 'unknown'."
In this untitled watercolour, she depicts the female protagonist with her unrelenting frontal gaze, as having a blue neck akin to that of Lord Shiva. Making a direct reference to the woman being as benevolent and powerful as the deity himself, she celebrates and lauds her enormous, yet quiet, strength.
Rodwittiya has travelled widely and lectured on contemporary Indian art for several fellowships and artist residencies in Sweden, France, the United States and the U.K. In 1988-89 she was invited as guest artist to the Konsthogskolan, Stockholm and was also invited to deliver series of lectures on Indian Art at the Ecole des Beaux Arts Grenoble and Castello de Rivoli, Torino, Italy in 1991. She has also written extensively on contemporary art. Her works are in a number of private and public collections in India, U.K., U.S.A., Brazil, Italy, West Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands.
Rodwittiya lives and works in Baroda.