Visionary artist Lakshmi Tara holds her debut exhibition at Pachamama Art Cafe, Aluva
Like many millennials, Lakshmi Tara (Instagram: @lakshmi.tara) also tried her hand at desk jobs before she found her vocation. After a Masters in management, she was living and trying to fit in among a cosmopolitan crowd. But, it was when depression struck that her mind naturally turned to drawing; something which she hadn’t been practising for nearly 20 years.
“Art came naturally to me and I also happened to attend a meditation course around the time. After that, I decided to take a chance and follow my art,” says Lakshmi, about leaving the ‘secure structures’ of an urban life and moving to volunteer at a farm in Kodaikanal in 2016.
Her first art exhibition also happened in the market there, in the need to raise some money for living. However, Kochi—which is also her hometown—is currently hosting this contemporary visionary artist’s debut organised exhibition.
The artist pulls from India’s aesthetic traditions in her practice. “Visionary art has been in India for centuries. It expresses visions from beyond the conscious physical reality, like from meditations or dreams,” says the 29-year-old, informing that she uses modern mediums like acrylic on canvas and pen on paper, unlike traditional Indian art.
The self-taught painter perceives lack of an art school background advantageous as she stands aloof from contemporary techniques and definitions of art. Comparing her intuitive working style with doodling, Lakshmi looks up to works of Alex Grey, and the spiritual philosophies of Ramana Maharshi and Gautama Buddha for inspiration.
Her current showcase in the city features a series of nine small paintings—with one for each day of the Navratri festival expressing her interpretation of the “different aspects of the divine feminine”—and nine other individual pieces. Lakshmi’s exhibition is complemented by that of a photographer named Jiby Charles, who has captured images from his life in Thiruvannamalai.
At Pachamama Cafe, Aluva