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Vasudha Thozhur

Indian Contemporary Artist
Born 1956, Mysore, Karnataka, India
Lives and works in Madras, India

Baroda-based artist Vasudha Thozhur's art typifies themes of conflict and violence. She is actively involved in writing, teaching and conducting art workshops and projects, engaging with her immediate social context. Her paintings comprising bold, forceful gestures, strong lines and bright colours evoke images that are non-committal to a single interpretation. Her choice of media includes watercolours and oils on canvas as well as print-media.

Education

1982

Post-diploma in Painting, Croydon School of Art and Design, UK

1979

Diploma in Painting, College of Arts and Crafts, Chennai, India

VIEW     Selected exhibitions     Text      Videos      Selected images      View all

LIFE AND WORK

UNDERSTANDING Vasudha Thozhur

She deals with the theme of conflict and violence through her paintings

Vasudha Thozhur has felt the need to engage with her immediate social context, without completely discarding her vocation. Her artwork is ambiguous in the sense that it does not lead the viewer to a single interpretation. Instead the bold and forceful gestures, the use of metaphors within a painting evoke a response from the viewer in their own way, depending on their past experiences.

The vibrant colours evoke images of opulent consumerist urban environment on one hand and eternal symbols of Indian reality like the 'untouchable' and 'sacred' on the other. Images of animals and people are also doodled in some secret mysterious script that merges with sharply detailed objects.

Vasudha Thozhur, Terminus Erraeus, 2008, Diptych, mixed media on canvas, 92 x 112.5”

She has been actively involved in the Himmat workshops

Artist-cum-activist Vasudha Thozhur has been actively involved in a community art project, namely the Himmat Workshops, since 2002. This innovative art project involves working with six adolescent girls who were deeply affected by the Naroda Patiya, Ahmedabad carnage. It examines the role that art practices can play in a collective trauma and addresses a range of issues from personal loss to displacement and the possibility of mobilisation and economic revival through the use of the visual language.

Thozhur's project acquires particular significance within the broader history of art in Vadodara. In the form of paintings, quilts, wall scrolls, photographs and videos, she and the girls have produced some insightful and poignant creations that not only provide a window to express their emotions but have, at one level, had a cathartic effect on them also.

asudha Thozhur, Do Not Swim without Knowing, 2005, oil on canvas, 91.5 x 92.5”

Her work is not restricted to a single medium

Thozhur works with oils as well as water colours and both media flow into each other with remarkable effect. A strong element of drawing and bold colour is seen in her paintings. She uses digital media- print and videos to effectively demonstrate her creativity.

Vasudha Thozhur, Secret Life, 2000, mixed media on canvas

The immediate world around her influences her art

Vasudha, living next to an open public ground that hosts parties and weddings in Gujarat, has been a constant witness to the elaborate preparations and festivities that are so typical of the present day celebrations. Titled, “The Anatomy of Celebration, or, The Party Plot”, this project comprises of numerous digital prints and four videos in which she has tried to capture the frenzy that surrounds such celebrations. All this against the background of an otherwise troubled political climate, and the stringent moral policing that has become a part of the night life of Ahmadabad, she has turned it into a visual experience with a darker edge. Through this work, Thozhur asks What is it that people experience while celebrating here and how does it enhance their lives? Or is it merely a safety valve or a smoke-screen, sometimes provided by the powers that obscure the poverty, which needs to be urgently addressed?

Vasudha Thozhur, The Anatomy of Celebration, 2010, inkjet print with UV balanced ink on aluminium composite board, 20 x 34.5"

Bibliography