Indian village women on grass, 2020

Acrylic on canvas, 16" x 20"

Arpa Mukhopadhyay

Arpa Mukhopadhyay is an emerging artist based in Pune, India. Though an engineer with a masters in literature, she has slowly converted her lifelong passion for painting into her profession. Her artworks have have appeared in magazines like Art Hole, Ehsaas, Postscript, Sapphire Hues, and PMN.Stories and in exhibitions in India, the UK, the US, and Mexico.

“I lived in a small Indian village in my childhood. The women of Indian villages are extremely strong, both physically and mentally. They are the pillars of their families, and it’s amazing to see that, in spite of the amount of work they have to do to sustain themselves, they live such fascinating lives. The paintings in my Indian Women series are inspired by my childhood memories of these women — their way of conducting themselves, their extremely loving nature, and my admiration for them — and by the old Indian master artist Jamini Roy’s Bride and two Companions, which depicts a traditional Indian bride and her companions, rustic in their saris and jewellery, without any artificial beauty or mythological background. Jamini Roy trained in Western art at the Government School of Art in Calcutta in the early twentieth century and became a famous portrait and landscape artist in the European tradition, but he soon realized he needed to move away from his early Impressionism and draw inspiration from his own culture, from living folk and tribal art. He was most influenced by Kalighat Pat, a style of art characterized by bold, sweeping brush strokes and geometric symmetry. Like Bride and two Companions, my Indian Women series combines my contemporary style with the traditional Indian style that inspired Jamini Roy (and which he further inspired). In Indian village women on grass, we can see women meeting each other after a hard day’s work, narrating their experiences while resting in a nearby field. Their lives are similarly rural but equally fascinating, depicted by their similarly bright but differently coloured saris.”