KARACHI, April 7: The works of Ragini Upadhyaya Grela, a renowned Nepalese artist who believes in ‘Art for Life’ are on display at Majmua Art Gallery. Ragini, a Nepalese by birth and a graduate in fine arts from Arts and Crafts College, Lucknow, is an artist du jure of Nepal who has won several prizes and awards at home and abroad and travelled across the world to put his works on display. Her exhibition in Karachi is the 44th solo in her career. According to reputed art critics, Ragini’s canvas releases certain energy not only through the bold colours but also through the motifs that demand forceful emotional outlets.

In the unique conglomeration of images around the Swayambhu monastery, a drama of revelry unfolds creating a situation of tension between war and beleaguered peace. In this melee, we see the desperate couples, a child and a bird of peace stuck on the fringe of the canvas compelling the viewer to divert their eyes from the center toward them, says reputed art critic Abhi Subedi.

In her abstract structures, a Nepali woman's mind is presented through semiotic features and colour iconicity. The red Teeka of the Nepali woman speaks volumes. The exuberant colour combination, to quote Ragini herself, is a language that she used to record her own mood at the turning point of her life. These canvases represent her compromise with happiness, love, sense of hope and a predominantly male cultural structuralism with a certain reservation and this reservation appears to me to be her energy that will take her forward.

Ragini says when she was 13 in an Allahabad school in India, she got a sentence written on her autograph book by a teacher suggesting art should be for life, nothing else. “I never forgot this line which has changed my life. Since then as I am a gifted artist from childhood, I have taken this mantra from my teacher and used my graphic art to reveal and highlight human problems such as social disparities, women rights, girl trafficking, peace and wars etc.,” she said. “If my works can change just a bit the way that people think, this will be my best reward,” she said.

The exhibition featuring her new water colour series will continue till April 15.

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