celebrating womanhood

celebrating womanhood

Source: Visthar

Location: Bangalore, Karnataka

(It was distributed at Beijing International Women’s Conference.)

Year: 1995

Language: English

Artist: C.F. John

Concept: Mercy Kappen (text taken from Hymn to Isis)

Actual Medium: Oil on Canvas, Calender

Publisher’s Name: Coordination Unit of Beijing Conference

Description: The calendar was produced as an outcome of the Beijing International Women’s Conference in 1995. The idea was to create paintings that would celebrate the true spirit and essence of womanhood.  However, the painting was already in existence before the conference. Of the many images submitted  by artists from across the world, this painting by C.F. John was selected as one of the images to be put on the calender.

The story behind the calendar-art is greatly influenced by folk-lores of India and depicts the courage and solidarity of women. It emphasises on the positive, affirmative, strong aspects of a woman in the face of adversity where one supports the other. The two-women symbolise togetherness in the face of adversity and the boat moving towards the confluence of the river and the sea indicates the strength of women in their collectiveness to face challenges and therefore their emotional strength, patience and tolerance. The turbulent sea depicts violence and turmoil and enhances the pictographic representation of the ability of women to move forward in time and space. The landscape is inspired by Indian folk-lore and depicts the turbulent times. The postures of women in conversation were extensively studied to derive the image. The coiled body language, as of a child in a womb serves the dual purpose of portraying the flux of time captured within a woman and her insecurities.