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Vijaya Pushkarna
Vijaya Pushkarna


Capturing the struggles of women on a canvas

Capturing the struggles of women on a canvas Goldy Malhotra and right, artwork by her. Image via Facebook

" I have chased her, become one with her.

I have admire her smiling through her."

Those in the National Capital Territory know her as the very able former principal of Modern School, Vasanth Vihar. And people in Chandigarh remember Goldy  Malhotra as a lecturer in the Government Home Science college where she taught foods and nutrition, and as lecturer in the MCM DAV College where she taught fine art. But what Goldy has remained through all those years, and in fact even before she finished her schooling, is an artist whose main medium has been oil on canvas. Her intimate world is that of artists, and a subject very close to her heart is, women.

'A Woman's Journey' , an exhibition of 39 big and small paintings by Goldy, opening at the very trendy Hauz Khas village's Lokayata Art Gallery on November 11, will be her 12th solo show. The result of one year's work, Goldy says it was born out of her firm view that nothing has changed for women over the centuries, regardless of their location and background. The heroine in the paintings varies from state to state — Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Kerala. She is the one in Ratnavali, who no one knows even though she was the woman behind Tulsidas, the poet behind the Ramayana, in another she is Yashodhara, who gave her husband, Gautama Budhdha, their son in bhiksha — alms. " regardless of the time, the century she was born in, the place , or her own age, a woman has to struggle by herself to be swayam siddha," elaborates Goldy, pointing to the continuing struggle of girls today. And she believes this journey will continue, as will the struggles.

Goldy is among the few Indian artists to have held a solo in Pakistan. At the invitation of the Lahore Grammar School, Goldy took 15 canvases — paintings of monuments — to the Chitrakala gallery there, in 2006.

As a school student in Ludhiana, Goldy was encouraged by her father to send a work titled 'Turmoil' to a contest. Eminent writer Dr Mulk Raj Anand,  one of the judges, rewarded her for that painting, and encouraged her to peruse painting. She may be doing numerous things, but a canvas or two are always a work in progress in her studio at home. She cannot do without painting, she says.

'A Woman' s Journey', the exhibition, will be on till Nov 19 — incidentally the birthday of India' s best known woman — Indira Gandhi. 

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