Double Helix by Asma Menon and Rekha Rao at Kalakriti Art Gallery
Double Helix, the literal meaning is a pair of parallel helices intertwined about a common axis, especially in a structure of the DNA molecule. Asma Menon and Rekha Rao have a similar meaning to their works. They talk about the cycle of Life.
Multi- layered in conception, Asma Menon's art works, be it, painting or printmaking or drawing, all sport motifs of clairvoyance.
Labyrinthine of a maze of lines, are enmeshed with a narrative, on a single plane. From primitive almost pre-symbolic repetitive strokes to highly sophisticated mythological quotations.
With her intense feminine identity Asma Menon always manages to bridge the gap between the ancestral and the contemporary with her cosmopolitan but yet deeply Indian character. She appears fully aware of the world contemporary art tendencies and at the same time she is centered on a unique life path that links the myth with everyday life.
Trees, animals, as well as human and divine figures appear fluctuate and melt in her images creating a unique solution that unites the past with the present with no apparent contrast. She repeatedly portrays the concept of maternity in a way that is very familiar and down to earth. Even more, in the idea of” mother “that she conveys. Asma has her feet deeply in the earth and her spirit high in the sky binding together apparently unconceivable dimensions. This is Asma’s own dimension.
Asma sums up her outlook as an artist as:
For the nomad,
Of all seasons,
With a promise,
Of future dreams.
Born to hope and imagine a new society in independent India, she feels a sense of loss and sadness for a brutally battered environment. For her, memory and experience has thrown up multiple images and perspectives from time to time. She has seen industry coming up in places where there were none. She has seen our economy rising gradually at the cost of total neglect of our environment. She has seen unimaginable growth in population, frenzied greed and selfishness leading us on the path of self-destruction. She imagined a new society. That hope has gone awry.
She says, beyond the predicament of human experience there are elemental forces and areas of life that are accessible. And it is this area that allows her to travel and delve out images. Color is the core of her paintings. She hopes her paintings will communicate, energize and restore some semblance of equilibrium between man and nature and art alone can bridge this chasm.
She believes in the power of clarity, grace, that art (kala) can restore and bond with Prakruti that is almost severed. To her, freedom means watching a flock of birds fly. She says, “An ethereal feeling envelops me, as I stand on terra firma and let my dreams be in the realm of ‘dreams’”
Her works are a tribute to people who are challenged, yet are determined to seek a happy and meaningful life.