A visual artist’s new solo exhibition is a tribute to her mother who passed away in 2019, followed by the death of her mother-in-law within a month
Through her new solo exhibition, Kiyomi Talaulicar comes to terms with her personal loss through art and pays tribute to her mother. Pic/Sameer Markande
Go on, have a look with the magnifying glass,” urges Kiyomi Talaulicar when we drop in to see her ongoing solo exhibition. As we examine a painting of a bench closely, we see intricate layers which are otherwise invisible to the naked eye. “I enjoy painting in layers as it triggers various choices and possibilities in the creative process, and reflects the kind of continual search and self-reinvention that every person experiences throughout a lifetime,” adds the 58-year-old artist.
A Woven Story for Mother is Talaulicar’s first solo exhibition since 2017. The works of her exhibition center around the passing of her ailing mother in August 2019 and the death of her mother-in-law within a month. “It [the exhibition] is about coming to terms with the loss,” says Talaulicar. “This includes moments of grief as well as joy and emotional closeness when you think of certain happy memories too. In a sense, you are reflecting on this whole period as something beautiful, and cherishing the emotions which lead to this feeling of missing their presence, but are also grateful for what you shared,” she muses.
Talaulicar, who studied painting at the Sir JJ School of Art, admits that she likes to portray objects because of their link to people. Her ongoing exhibition has many inanimate objects such as bowls, chair, bench, jug and more. “For me,” she says, “it is the human experience, that I attempt to portray through these objects, and their links to human life. For instance, a bowl symbolizes for me the human act of receiving and holding, accepting and giving, and a simple leaf, as a basic, essential part of nature, symbolizes for me the cycle of life.
While most of Talaulicar’s work is about and based on her mother, she shares that there are two pieces for her mother-in-law as well. All the works in her show are watercolour and acrylic on canvas but for these two pieces—titled Mother and Mother’s Note—she has used the method of coffee and tea staining. “My mother used to love coffee and my mother-in-law loved tea,” she explains.
While her family and friends were supportive, this was nevertheless difficult for her. “She [her mother] was ailing, and towards the end she stayed with me for a few years and was like a child to me”. Most work in her show was after her mother’s death but some are older pieces from 2019 as well. “Those years of looking after my mother and being around her were almost like reliving my childhood, but there was a reversal of roles when I was taking care of her”. The idea behind the title is “weaving a fabric of precious memories and emotional experiences as a story for her,” she concludes.
WHAT: A Woven Story for Mother
WHERE: Art & Soul, Worli
WHEN: Till May 24