Sumita Maity

Kolkata, India

Lotus Pond 24x36 (I) - April 2021

My work is the language my dreams speak. I look at my paintings as windows through which I see my imagined self surrounded by lush green leaves, lotuses and water lilies in these dreamlike landscapes where women are not bound to their gender-roles as determined by the society at large — where they are not mothers, daughters, wives, mistresses, or lovers. This is a world where women are simply women whose female identity is not limited to their sexual organs, anatomy, or sexuality, but defined by their intrinsic, instinctive femininity and their ineradicable connection to the divine feminine found in the natural world. I suppose that is why a desire to escape the tedium and indignity that still come with being a woman in todayʼs world, especially in a country like India where the female body is often a battlefield, and to seek refuge in nature has been such a persistent theme of my paintings. This is what I strive to convey in my works: the idea that a better world is possible if only we return to nature and let it heal us. I consciously use this belief to create spaces that I hope will help others feel the same peacefulness and connect with their own feelings of joy, stillness, and contentment the same way I do when I paint.

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