A woman of the moment: Nandini R Nair captures a sensitive, feminine sense of nature

Nandini R Nair’s art reflects an uncommon facile hand, while capturing a sensitive, feminine sense of nature. 

Jaideep Sen Published :  29th June 2019 05:09 PM   |   Published :   |  29th June 2019 05:09 PM
A painting by Nandini R Nair

A painting by Nandini R Nair

There's a certain tenderness to Nandini R Nair’s paintings that her personal profile belies. 

An officer of the Indian Revenue Service, Nandini is currently posted as Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, Chennai — no tender feat, on any given day.

And yet, her paintings — each delicately worked in acrylic and watercolours — uniformly present glimpses of womanhood that are sensitive, affectionate and deeply in touch with nature, rife with elements that symbolise the wildness and an earthy, physical course of being.

At Nandini’s new solo exhibition titled Small Talk – Voices to be Heard, which features about 50 of her paintings as well as an installation, the theme revolves around the identity and independence of women.

The sense of “Independence (is) symbolised as the ability to be fluid, to be able to accommodate originality, individuality and newness,” elaborates a curatorial note on the show.

“The freedom to embrace the real spirit and own it, to let no one else own her,” it adds.

The name of the show — Small Talk — while implying something seemingly meaningless, still encompasses conversations that transcend relevance and profundity, offers the note. 

The title “throws hints at what we are under the skin,” it says.


Nandini R Nair's show Small Talk – Voices to be Heard


Born and raised in Cochin, Kerala, Nandini discovered her interest in fine art during her school days, being mentored by her art teacher, MP Manoj.

Her profile notes that she attended a number of workshops led by well-known artistes MV Devan, CN Karunakaran, T Kaladharan and Ashanthan.


A work by Nandini R Nair at Small Talk – Voices to be Heard


While she hosted her first solo show at age 15, she was also a part of the group show, Manava Maithri Sangamam, organised by the Kerala Lalitha Kala Akademi.

Not surprisingly, she also bears a keen interest in performing arts, theatre and dance, and was also awarded a scholarship for advanced training in theatre by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.


A work by Nandini R Nair at Small Talk – Voices to be Heard


The artistic pedigree is evident in Nandini’s works, marked as they are by gentle, caressing strokes of the brush — capturing the soft, caring side to a feminine self.

As a result, the elemental core of her works is as appealing as it is disarming — disregarding any need for intensive criticism. The best you could do is to curl up in front of any of her frames, and feel like a child yourself — if only for a little while.

Small Talk – Voices to be Heard is being hosted at The Folly, Amethyst. Free entry.