SISTER MISFORTUNE



Alakshmi, the goddess daughters are never named after, gives this series its name. She is the dark side of the ever welcome Lakshmi, Goddess of Fortune, who really needs no introduction. Alakshmi is Sister Misfortune. And she does need an introduction. For the simple reason that she is so minimally engaged with. For our natural, human response is to shy away from the unpleasant.
But how dark is dark? Is it as disturbing as we have been led to believe or is it merely the rest of the story? And thus begins an exploration both disturbing and ultimately triumphantly life affirming. An exploration not just of duality but of multiplicity. This is the exhilarating and unfathomably complex universe of Woma


KALI

The most complex of goddesses. The familiar image is that of a blue-black creature on the rampage, eyes blazing, tongue grotesquely protruded, even more ferocious than the demons she slays.
Here she is young, beautiful, playful, full of mischief, emerging out of sumptuous foliage. And the sensation is one of overwhelming, all encompassing serenity - despite her garland of skulls.
For Kali is also Bhavatarini or Redeemer of the Universe. And she is Night – the moment before the creation of light. Beyond time. With no beginning or end. The essence of all being. She is Being itself.
A new artist - a woman, a new perspective, a dynamic medium and our fresh engagement with ancient knowledge. For Kali is ultimately the goddess of change and thence of continuity.
36”X 27” K3 Pigment Print on Hahnemuhle Etching Archival Paper
Limited Edition Exclusive Digital Artworks  -1/5 + 2 artist prints
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LAKSHMI

In a cosmos of affluent Asuras and entitled Devas, Lakshmi moves. Paying little attention to their eternal combat, she chooses. She is the goddess of wealth, and like wealth, she is more desired than enjoyed. Her attention moves as she gazes over our small lives, with our slight victories and failures, only too aware of how little would survive us. From the ground, she had once risen, but only noticed in the skies, when her dazzle was in full bloom. We were made to understand, that this is how she always was - linked with our every swollen and unsatisfied desire. But, she reminds us of an earlier time, when she was a child, growing into a woman in her home, underneath the earth, hidden in the early hymns of the Vedas. A long age of both innocence and awareness, when Asura meant a divine being, still uncoloured by a later moral turn their stories took, spinning them into simplistic caricatures of demons and villains. An age of her childhood, fathered, not just by one, but three Asuras. Varuna – the ocean, Puloman – the earth and Bhrigu – the teacher. Sharing her heritage, with glorious asuras – Balli, Virochana. An age of innocence that changed as did she, only coming into herself as she moved away from home. Suddenly, capturing our attention, she arrived in the world of the gods. Astonishing the heavens with her glamour, she chose to sit beside a thrilled and bewildered Indra. Still, she remained restless and uncertain. Surly, she thought, the heavens must have someone more worthy of her. Lakshmi changes lives on a whim, leaving a trail of uncertainty. Nervous gods and humans, unaware of whom she will favor next. Indra suffered in his insecurity, never able to truly enjoy her, eternally balanced on a shaky throne. She seemed to have appeared with no particular reason and now might leave just as mysteriously. Tormented by the knowledge that he was king and his kingdom was heaven because of her. Proving him right, her journey continued, till she finally met Vishnu. The one God who could love, appreciate and revel in her and her choices that made them the queen and king of heaven.
36”X 27” K3 Pigment Print on Hahnemuhle Etching Archival Paper
Limited Edition Exclusive Digital Artworks - 1/10 + 2 artist prints



APARNA

In their minds was born, that singular nucleus of heat, that they kindled and expanded. A force, a white light so powerful, it could absorb all of reality into itself. This was tapas, and the gods paid nervous attention to all who practiced it. A deep meditation, exercised in a man’s world. A culture that held nature as nothing more than a backdrop, an optional element that one could ignore and deem irrelevant. The gods were apprehensive of all the destruction a powerful mind in tapas could cause, but mainly they were worried about the accumulation of power greater than theirs. So, they sent women as sexual distractions. Beautiful creatures, to tease these diligent rishis, away from their meditations, and into pleasure. This was the reality that Aparna (still Parvati at the time) had entered into. Not as a puppet played by the gods, but as a young girl who had her own vision of her future. Through tapas she was to disrupt the world of the gods, because she was in love with one of them - Shiva, the greatest of all ascetics. The adventure was to happen within her mind. A journey that would take her into the unknown, where definitions do not hold, and everything recedes into the irrelevant, except for that single nucleus of heat.It was the other rishis in the forest, who renamed her as Aparna – not even a leaf. For she had lived on nothing. No food, no water, nothing - not even a leaf. Disturbed out of their own tapas, by the growing force of her’s, they had to recognise the power of this young girl, soon to be their goddess. She had sent an energy of ripples through all of reality. And as always the gods paid attention, and so did Shiva. Breaking his tapas and opening his eyes to acknowledge her. But, for an entirely different reason from the other gods. It was not to protect his power, but to give it to her. Restoring the place of nature above all culture.
36”X 27” K3 Pigment Print on Hahnemuhle Etching Archival Paper
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SIVAKAMI

Still wearing her crown, (for she was born a princess), and holding a lotus, an unusually opulent version of Parvati, is here in her most beautiful form – Sivakami, the one Shiva desires. As the wind awakens, she stands calm and still watching her husband begin the Thandav, a dance so powerful it creates and destroys the universe. She is the only one who can draw him, through anger or moaning, through Thandav or Thapas. Shiva, a god capable of great passion, had locked himself away from the world, after losing his first wife Sati. Sivakami through her beauty and her mind made him open his eyes to her, bringing him back into samsara – into life, love and their very unique family.
She is nature – Prakriti, returning Purusha from his mind into reality. She is as calm as he is animated - a reversal of roles. The usual business of things holds the male as the passive force of the universe and the female as the active one. As Sivakami and Natraja, Parvati and Shiva, take the other one’s place.
36”X 27” , K3 Pigment Archival Paper
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GAURI

The quintessential mother goddess of Indian mythology, wanted a child that she could call her own. Shiva, her husband (the god of destruction), didn’t see the purpose behind it. Children as a legacy, was a preoccupation for mortals – not for immortals like them. Gauri did not see children as legacy at all, but as life itself. They famously made love for a thousand years - a union that aided all of creation, but it didn’t result in a child for them. Gauri, although completely in love, was now aware that she would need to make one on her own. 
While Shiva was away, she carved a perfect little boy out of turmeric, that she had rubbed from her own body. Breathing life into him she had brought Ganesha from the image behind her eyes to before them. He was entirely Gauri’s creation, and like all of nature – made from her soil.
Shifting rather abruptly from the poetic to the prosaic, shortly after being created by a goddess, the child was to stand guard while she bathed. The diligent new son did so with complete conviction to the task at hand.
So, when a strange little boy out of nowhere, denied Shiva entry into his own abode, the God of destruction with very little patience, decapitated Ganesha in anger. Gauri was horrified and appalled at what Shiva had done. He had killed her only child, and now, she (changing into Kali), was going to destroy all of creation. Brahma, the god of creation ran in its defence. Stopping the goddess, he pleaded with her to reconsider. And so she did - the world would be spared, only if the child was brought back to life, and was always worshiped first before any other god. Shiva now, less angry and more sympathetic, sent Brahma out with orders to bring back the head of the first creature he crossed, laying facing north. Brahma returned with the head of an elephant. Breathing new life into him, Shiva placed it on Ganesha’s body. In another version, it was Indra’s elephant. Either ways, unique and irreversible the elephant headed scribe was created. The birth of a new god willed into being by Gauri the mother goddess.
36”X 27” K3 Pigment Print on Hahnemuhle Etching Archival Paper
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ARDHANARISHVARI

What we perceive as opposites are elements of a fusion. Here, the wrenching of a conflict – masculine and feminine come to rest as a union. Of Purasha (the mind) and Prakriti (Nature), of fire and water, of wind and soil, of the mind and body, and ultimately of male and female, giving way to a synthesis, exalted as the root and womb of all creation.
Parvati and Shiva come together and in their eyes we perceive that liquid fire – a loop of eternity that links them both in a union like no other, and one that precedes all others.  
36” X 27” K3 Pigment Print on Hahnemuhle Etching Archival Paper
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GRAMADEVI

A head sitting upright on the ground, under a tree, outside, at the edge of a village. Her eyes appear through a coat of vermillion. Her body, (underground we assume), is the village - with its houses, fields and pastures, and her fertility, keeping them abundant.
With no temple or priest, the goddess is only tended to by the women. A sisterhood that celebrates their mother every day. She is not universal, but local, she is specific and personal. She is yours and she is mine and she lives outside our village.
But once a year she comes undone, for her forests have been burnt, to sow again, her weeds uprooted and body fenced up and owned. Wild and hungry she demands blood, and the village rushes to ease, quenching her thirst she is made whole again. Feasts are cooked and sacrifices made to replenish her wildness. Gestures repeated year after year to make her strong and blossom. An apology for killing her forest, and gratitude, for the gift she has given. A process by which we rewild our mother year after year after year.
36” X 27” K3 Pigment Print on Hahnemuhle Etching Archival Paper
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POULOMI

In a cosmos of affluent Asuras and entitled Devas, Poulomi moves. Paying little attention to their eternal combat, she chooses. She is Lakshmi the goddess of wealth, and like wealth, she is more desired than enjoyed. Her attention moves as she gazes over our small lives, with our slight victories and failures, only too aware of how little would survive us. From the ground, she had once risen, but only noticed in the skies, when her dazzle was in full bloom. We were made to understand, that this is how she always was - linked with our every swollen and unsatisfied desire. But as Poulomi, she reminds us of an earlier time, when she was a child, growing into a woman in her home, underneath the earth, hidden in the early hymns of the Vedas. A long age of both innocence and awareness, when Asura meant a divine being, still uncoloured by a later moral turn their stories took, spinning them into simplistic caricatures of demons and villains. An age for Poulomi, fathered, not just by one, but three Asuras. Varuna – the ocean, Puloman – the earth and Bhrigu – the teacher. Sharing her heritage, with glorious asuras – Balli, Virochana, Prahalad.An age of innocence that changed as did she, only coming into herself as she moved away from home. Suddenly, capturing our attention, she arrived in the world of the gods. Astonishing the heavens with her glamour, she chose to sit beside a thrilled and bewildered Indra. Still, she remained restless and uncertain. Surly, she thought, the heavens must have someone more worthy of her. Sometimes she is seen as Nidhi – the goddess of treasures, sitting by Kubera, and King of the Yakshas (the nature spirits), making him the god of treasures. Poulomi changes lives on a whim, leaving a trail of uncertainty. Nervous gods and humans, unaware of whom she will favor next. Indra suffered in his insecurity, never able to truly enjoy her, eternally balanced on a shaky throne. She seemed to have appeared with no particular reason and now might leave just as mysteriously. Tormented by the knowledge that he was king and his kingdom was heaven because of her. Proving him right, her journey continued, till she finally and ultimately met Vishnu. The one God who could love, appreciate and revel in her and her choices, that made them the queen and king of heaven.
36” X 27” K3 Pigment Print on Hahnemuhle Etching Archival Paper
Limited Edition Exclusive Digital Artworks- 1/10 + 2 artist prints



KAMAKSHI

Without desire all of creation loses its fragrance and the god of desire himself was enchanting. In Kama’s hands the sugarcane bow and flowered arrows are merely mischievous. And he paid with his life for playing with these wonderful weapons of desire. When he took aim, their effects were limited to passion, a trap that one falls into. In Kamakshi’s hands, desire is expansive. A landscape to walk in, eyes wide open, a choice that feels like destiny. A desire for the world and the pleasure of being part of it.
In sunshine and starlight, laughter and pain it grows, changing how we feel, what we see and the taste of everything we touch. Red is no longer alarming and blood changes meaning. In Draupadi’s hands it is revenge, in Kali’s it is destruction, and in Kamakshi’s, it is life. We are not hunted but adored by the flowered archer. For some she is a fertile womb, a cleft in a rock that bleeds, marking the coming of monsoon. A season for desire, wisdom and experience - only a life well lived can know.
36” X 27” K3 Pigment Print on Hahnemuhle Etching Archival Paper
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USHA

Dawn
Her name appears three hundred times, there are twenty hymns in her praise - the most written for any god or goddess in the Rig Veda, and apparently the most beautiful. She is not worshiped or celebrated, but she is sung for. Like the other early gods of her time, she is made of words, and the ones that created her are said to be the oldest. Finding form in poetry, Usha the new dawn floods the mind, as she looks into every opening eye, every morning. She is consciousness. And immediately dazzled, we blink – the first sign of a mortal. For Usha and her fellow immortals don’t. We are enticed out of slumber and into another day, as she passes an invisible line of time through us, counting our numbered mornings.
Brushing past and passing quickly, young and audacious, she takes many lovers. An adored bright beacon drawn by a thousand horses, in every shade of twilight, she remains the most desired and notoriously impossible to keep. To know her is to know abandonment, for she always rides past us, towards her sisters – Sandya and Ratri – evening and night. A goddess eternally connected to the future and the past. Eternally connected to her sisters. A bond made of time, so special it holds all of reality within it, and still, it holds them apart.
She is both, ‘to awaken’ and ‘the awakening’. Not just to enter consciences and make our way through time, but also the illumination that releases us from it. Moksha, vimoksha, vimikti, mukti – she is enlightenment. Bound by time and still timeless, she has looked at mortals, with the same unblinking eyes through eons. A gaze that talks of the existence of evil and the survival of hope, as she listens to our songs, sung to arouse her, so that she might revive us.
36”X 27.25”  K3 Pigment Print on Hahnemuhle Etching Archival Paper
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SHIVA

Gentle and limpid, like a rivers’ flow, this languid female form is none other than the most masculine of gods: Siva, appearing here as gopika or divine milk maid, ready to take part in Krishnas’ famed raas lila.
As always the myths beguile – seemingly simple tales are prismic gateways to a wonderland of symbolism.
The sublime strains of Krishnas’ flute stir Siva into joining the raas lila or dance that Krishna, the god of love, enjoys with his bevy of gopis in Vrindavan. As no male can enter Vrindavan, Siva dips himself into the waters of the Yamuna and emerges a beautiful maiden and the two gods dance. Radha points out a subtle otherness in the atmosphere and is told by Krishna who the new dancer is – “He is Lord Siva,”says Krishna, “my teacher. You wouldn’t want me to ask him to leave, would you?” In another variation, Kali has the urge to dance with the gopikas. Taking the form of Krishna, a fellow dark god, she has a wonderful time with the gopis. Siva, missing his consort, enters Vrindavan as Radha and dances with her.
What a wonderful world. A world of variation and abundance - for that is what Vrindavan means – a fluid, flowing world where gods slip in and out of different sexual forms, dance, love, celebrate pleasure, enjoy beauty. The gopis - no ordinary beings, are milk maids – nature herself, provider of the milk of life and Vrindavan – where all things exist is perceivable only to those free of familial ties, of outlandish moral constructs, of self – for only they are unburdened enough to live life in its fullness and multitude, and light enough to dance to its rhythms. Here Siva the Nataraj, the supreme dancer who dances the cosmos into existence and destruction dances or plays for that is what lila means - with the god of love and the cosmos is animated into being.
36”X 25”  K3 Pigment Print on Hahnemuhle Etching Archival Paper
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MATANGI

How clean the goddess of pollution looks. The origins of this goddess and what she stands for, was at a time, recognized for traveling far beyond the shackles of the cast system and was not reduced to the pollution identity. Everything about this rendition speaks of purity – the simplicity of the stance, the youthful innocence, the honest, open gaze, even the light ornamentation of the crescent moon.
Through penance to the goddess Ambaal, anavatar of Lakshmi, the “low caste” sage, Matang, seeks elevation to Brahma Rishi. When the boon cannot be granted he asks instead that he be recognized as Ambaal’s father. Ambaal is reborn to Matang as a primal form of Saraswati: the goddess Matangi. She who kindles knowledge born of contemplation, inner and organic. Mata or thought is shaped by Matangi into words and this articulation includes every form of art, music and dance. She also refers to our ability to listen, the origin of true understanding. Matangi is accessible to all as no vows or ceremony are needed to ask for her blessing. She welcomes offerings of leftovers by unwashed hands. Caste thus becomes irrelevant to the seeker of enlightenment.
Matangi’s so called filth represents freedom - from the sanitized gated community of Brahminical patriarchy.
Its walls of orthodoxy built with caste prejudices and notions of clean and unclean. But life cannot thrive in a sterile environment. And Matangi ushers us out. Offering us instead the throb of life. In her open landscape there is darkness – and it provides the contrast we need to fully appreciate and celebrate radiance.
36”X 27” K3 Pigment Print on Hahnemuhle Etching Archival Paper
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SITA

We begin to comprehend Sita at the end. Throughout the Ramayana Sita is the epitome of the devoted wife - Rama’s faithful, unquestioning consort. Without reference to Rama who Sita is in her own right is not immediately apparent. She is, of course, the daughter of King Janaka. But then we also learn she is adopted. Even her endless virtues refer to her relationship with Rama – her devotion to and patience with him. But in a thrilling denouement who and what she is becomes terrifyingly clear to all, especially to Rama, when after he demands a second trial by fire to prove her chastity, the obedient, silently suffering wife vanishes. Sita, the goddess, takes her place, was always there, but never comprehended. She is the daughter of the pagan earth goddess, Bhumi. She is the daughter of this land. And here she is depicted in her moment of truth, calling upon her mother to open her arms and swallow her, taking her back into her womb to return to her essence. What becomes clearer still is that Sita’s devotion, faith, loyalty, undying patience, strength of will were not mere abstractions, practiced by a woman exemplifying the dictates of tradition, but the gifts she gave.
36”X 27” K3 Pigment Print on Hahnemuhle Etching Archival Paper
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HALDI MUKHI DURGA

As Haldi Mukhi (the yellow faced one), Durga comes to us, exhausted and tired of her relentless life. Here she is Uma and Parvati – the mountain princess, and our abode becomes her paternal home. She visits every autumn, and we pamper her with the fruit of our harvest. As feasts are prepared, her children run outside to play with the other young ones from the village. Watching them leave, she relaxes and we start to apply turmeric all over her body.

Forgetting her innumerable duties, the warrior mother transforms into the daughter. Eating dessert for lunch, she turns back into the spoiled little princess of the Himalayas. She watches us dance and fill the air with the sweetest of scents, singing songs that act as a record of her complaints. A meditating husband, while she has to take care of the world in general, bringing up her own children, creating food in the icy peaks of the Himalayas, warring, nurturing, enabling all of creation… The list seems to go on. Life of a goddess is strenuous and we listen to the adorable young, yellow faced immortal tell us of her life. 
36”X 27” K3 Pigment Print on Hahnemuhle Etching Archival Paper
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SARASWATI

Sara – knowledge, sva – self. Thus knowledge of the self. With an insouciant look, head provocatively tilted, this Saraswati emerges from a sea of Lillies and flirtatiously invites us to drop the gravitas we attach to knowledge and consider it at its most elemental form. Thus unburdened of the serious business of living we can take on the exciting avatars of adventurers, exploring that most exciting of terrains: the self. Freed of preconceived notions. This is a liberating and joyful Saraswati who celebrates life through knowledge. Her engaging youth mirrors that of the person who continues to be entranced by truths that continuously reveal themselves as life unfolds.
36”X 27” K3 Pigment Print on Hahnemuhle Etching Archival Paper
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LAKSHMI & SARASVATI

Sara – knowledge, sva – self. Thus knowledge of the self. With an insouciant look, head provocatively tilted, this Saraswati emerges from a sea of Lillies and flirtatiously invites us to drop the gravitas we attach to knowledge and consider it at its most elemental form. Thus unburdened of the serious business of living we can take on the exciting avatars of adventurers, exploring that most exciting of terrains: the self. Freed of preconceived notions. This is a liberating and joyful Saraswati who celebrates life through knowledge. Her engaging youth mirrors that of the person who continues to be entranced by truths that continuously reveal themselves as life unfolds.
44”X 27” K3 Pigment Print on Hahnemuhle Etching Archival Paper
Limited Edition Exclusive Digital Artworks  -1/5 + 2 artist prints




SISTER MISFORTUNE             
Medium : K3 pigment print on Hahnemuhle Etching archival paper
Limited Edition Digital Artworks 
To view the catalogue - https://studiosmu.in/Sister-Misfortune-Catalogue
All Shows and Collaborations in the About page.


KAVERI

Some say he was a king and some say a sage, either way, Kavera had prayed for a daughter who would save them all. In her father’s mind she had appeared as an answer. After a long penance, Kaveri arrived as a boon given by Shiva, destined to bring life to the cursed land – plagued by a demon’s evil eye. A rainless eternity, a drought striking the very womb of the monsoons. A once fertile soil had cracked dry and turned to stone.
Her destiny of becoming a river, healing the earth, by quenching its thirst, was still to come. The river goddess was first a woman. Compassion and justice flowed through her veins, and the need to do the right thing made her fearless.Brought up by a sage, she found herself more often in isolation and deep meditation. And that was how the sage Agastya saw her first. They married soon and even before starting their life together, fate in its mischievous way had begun to bend her path towards her destiny - making her demand of her husband to never be separated from him for any prolonged period of time. Here again, many versions of the story appear as tributaries, but all coming to the same end.
To not be separated, Agastya turns Kaveri into water and keeps her in the chalice he carries with him everywhere. But their moment of separation arrives, when he takes her in his vessel to an almost barren lake and rests her on the banks while he steps in for a bath. In one version, to remain close she toppled the vessel from within, pouring herself out and magically turning into the gushing, glorious and powerful river Kaveri. While others say it was Ganesha who appeared as a cow or a little boy who toppled the vessel for her.
In any event, it ends with a separation from the one she loved to fulfill her greater destiny. Demon and drought disappeared and the land laughed again.
It’s a haunting image but it’s one that persists - Agastya would sometimes find his wife Kaveri on the other side of the river she became. As a goddess, looking at him, and never crossing over, they would stay motionless in each other’s gaze.


DEVI

An image of Devi arises from the night around us and slowly changes over centuries, turning the sky into daylight. Hidden behind flickering flames, the memories of her as the dark ferocious one have endured. She is the mother of the tribe, alive and awake in the caves of deep forests, as she is also, a newer more approachable goddess, floating amongst the clouds.  She changed, as her people did, gazing skyward towards new gods, escaping the impulse of nature. They had now set about to control it. In their process of burning forests to farm and dividing land to fence, they dressed her in silk with bangles and turmeric, hoping to awaken her maternal side.
With the glow of a forest fire behind her, the blood taking Kali, was now also the milk giving Gauri. And still her true worshipers sacrificed ram and rooster to rewild their mother.
She, who has the power to create life by destroying it. For them there is no terror or solitude in her presence.
Still, through marriage and maternity, the goddess harmonized nature with spirit. Suddenly surrounded by male gods she was – the female force that powers and animates. The energy with which Brahma creates the world, her husband Shiva tries to renounce while her brother Vishnu protects.
As her larger family unfolded, paving a path away from the jungle, the Devi remained true to all her forms - wild, free, powerful and replete with uncontrollable energy. She is the life – defender, lover, creator, and finally the destroyer.


PARVATI

The image of Parvati covering her face with a lotus is the story behind the Lingam and the Yoni. A lipped disk shaped form – the Yoni (the emblem of the Devi) with the phallic Lingam (the presence of the God Shiva). The couple would come to be known and symbolized for their thousand years of lovemaking.
In that era of pleasure, the walls of the glacier (their home in the mountains) thawed and Shiva’s tapas was released into the world – rivers into the plains and life into the dry soil. Their union would be symbolic and would come to represent fertility, generative and creative power at every cosmic level.
In their cave of copulation though, nothing mattered to them. Greater responsibilities as gods were consumed by their lust for each other.  
This disregard for the rest of existence only seemed to be problematic when they received unexpected guests, and Rishis at that. These sages of deep thought and meditation are often proud men, welcomed with reverence wherever they roam. Impatient, arrogant and in fits of fury are known to curse both humans and gods. Arriving at Shiva and Parvati’s abode, they walked right in on the couple making love. Parvati, was shy and giggled as she covered her face with a lotus, because Shiva would not stop making love to her. The Rishies were appalled and angry, and cursed the couple that they would from then on, be known and represented by the Lingam and Yoni. A curse that made little difference to anyone and the idea of shame receded into the horizon along with the irate and sanctimonious Rishis.


PRAKRITI

The animals show us where she is, by simply being who they are – the tame are in the world of men, the wild are with the Goddess. Through their eyes, she regards us from a distance, and instantly we know – she is Prakriti. Nature is feminine and she is the Primal One - unwitnessed nature and unperceived reality and here we come upon a part of creation, not destined for everyone. In that stillness we feel the loneliness of our species. But in her gaze we are rescued - and seen as part of all creation.
36” X 27” , K3 Pigment Print on Archival Paper
Limited Edition Exclusive Digital Artworks- 1/10 + 2 artist prints



GANGA

Ganga always longed to be here, where she is powerful, life giving, loved and worshiped. We visit her, step into her and feel her force go through us as she tells us her story. A story of her descent into our world.Before Ganga came to us, she was a celestial river – The Milkyway – Akashganga - running her course from one end of the sky to the other. And then? Her voyage downwards to us. She was to descend where the land meets the sky – the highest peaks of the Himalayas where Shiva receded.It’s not clear if she knew her strength, if she knew that the famine plagued world that desperately needed her, would not have survived the force of her arrival. An unimaginable flood falling from the heavens, as she who runs wild across the skies, would now devastate the only home we knew. The gods were moved into a state of panic when they were aware of Ganga’s journey. And so, they decided to once again bother Shiva, the ascetic God and the only one living in the high peaks of the Himalayas.Just before she could touch dry land to fulfil her destiny to save us from a relentless famine, her fall was broken. It was Shiva – and thus, the meeting of an irresistible force and an immovable object. Suddenly she was trapped, in a forest of his hair, that he caught her in, and tied up quickly, pinning tightly over his head, with the crescent moon. In his maze of hair, she broke into smaller and smaller tributaries. Realizing very quickly that she might lose herself completely to him. She would have to persevere and push on insistently.  And so she did, until finally and suddenly she could smell the fragrance of wet soil, a taste like the first rain. A few drops at first and then a gushing glorious river of turquoise and emerald green we know and love. She was home.
36”X 27” K3 Pigment Print on Hahnemuhle Etching Archival Paper
Limited Edition Exclusive Digital Artworks -- 1/10 + 2 artist prints

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RAJESHWARI

Not just a virgin mother, but an independent one. A kumari matha.
Mythology is filled with attempts made by male devas and assuras who tried to capture her. Dying or suffering consequences, they learnt, that nature will not be ruled by culture and the attempt, would lead to life lessons wrapped up in punishments. The mother goddess of all creation, she who holds the whip and the sugarcane. Punishment and Reward.
Arranging rivers, along the valleys, she watched us take our first steps into her world, where everything had arrived before us. She regarded us from a distance, through the eyes of animals, (all wild at the time), as she held in her womb, the three Gods who were to come. Brahma the god of creation, Vishnu the god of protection and Shiva the god of destruction - the son most protective of her.
In a world where volcanoes turn fire into stone, she taught us how to control it. Now, she is present in every temple – the Garbhagriha , the womb chamber, in which - sits the idol. Sometimes, even giving birth to herself. In the forest and the sea, in every seed and flower, the goddess of creation weaves life into a complex fabric. She is (Prakriti), and the mother of all nature and culture
An old goddess, from an old world, before life as we know it. She held the sun, and the moon, as he lured the ocean into an eternal tidal dance. There was no need to find reason, or enlightenment, inspiration or joy. The bare fact of being, was enough in itself. She belongs to a world before us. A world before the Gods.
36” X 27” K3 Pigment Print on Hahnemuhle Etching Archival Paper
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TARA

We leap into life, hoping to find the world, as she holds our hands, and helps us find ourselves. She is the Northern Star – a goddess for travelers, a leader for caravans in the literal. In the metaphorical, she navigates us through an ocean of existence. She warms our heart through the friends we make and fuels our courage to take unknown paths. A traveler between faiths, from Hinduism to Buddhism or the other way around, she crosses borders of every kind. We watch her light, traveling through diverse lands and various lives, as we hold on to a river of voices, with numerous stories of her origin. In one, she is born out of Kali’s third eye, a goddess for justice, in another she comes from a bodhisatva’s teardrop – so filled with pain, it created a goddess of empathy and compassion. In the white snows of Tibet, she is reborn as a princess from the vastness of China, and still another from the mountains of Nepal. She appears and reappears, always with the perfected wisdom to guide, and to eventually, be the mother of all Buddhas.
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UMA

A goddess with many names and many lives  – Parvati, Gauri, Shakti, but it’s Uma who holds the mirror, changing how we view ourselves and the universe we live in. She is the creator of a new world order, where culture is born out of empathy. A distinctly feminine vision, in which our spirit is found in her matter, our soul in her substance. Even as we observe we realize that she is the observation. While awkwardly, we tussle with values, constantly making and breaking them, she is natural phenomenon.
Uma brings an air of expectancy, a preparation for a family as she arrives at her husband’s icy cave in the mountains. The hermit god Shiva, has known nothing else. – they make love for a thousand years, thinking of nothing but pleasure as she thaws the walls of his glacier and releases Shiva’s tapas into the world – rivers into the plains and life into the dry soil. Their home on the impossible peaks of Kalilash, her presence warming its core for she is also a daughter of the mountains. Their children will be either hers or his, and not the fruit of their union, but that, is another story. A love beyond the narrow understanding of procreation and family. As Kali she had danced on Shiva’s chest, but as Uma she sits beside him and on him when they make love. Ice and fire giving way to life and a unique shared vision of all creation.
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SARASWATI

The oldest hymns were composed on her banks, a glorious beauty with her lilies and swans flowing through Punjab, Sindh and Rajasthan. A river of language, imagination and music she is Shatarupa – the goddess of infinite forms. All addressing the conception of creation – the one question –
Who am I?
In taking that step, from being wakeful to understanding, her unblinking eyes gather as her mind absorbs. For she, is the goddess, of all that is known and understood. She is knowledge.
Immersed in music and texts, she remains aloof, claiming the sovereignty of the mind over every other reality. Watching syllable by syllable appear she witnesses the construction of knowledge.
Despite all efforts to pair her with one god or the other, she remained distant. Interested in wisdom alone, calm and content in isolation, her journey was a solitary one. Her stories are sparse, In the pantheon of gods, who display power, looking for lovers, partners, wealth, or even for power itself, she stayed detached. A unique manifestation in which she needs little else but herself.
Although, as a river – she shatters the separation between Purusha and Prakriti, mind and matter, body and soul, and the strange belief that nothing in nature leads to the mind. Her state of being and the secrets she holds - keeps us from being paralyzed by wisdom. Despite all that is known, our world (once, with her river in it), pursues its course.
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KALI

Both suddenly and eternally she appears, as Adya  - The Primal One
A tornado made of all the elements at once, the angry goddess with unbound hair, from the oldest of forests - arrives with her wild justice. A justice beyond right or wrong, she is both the darkness and the light.
Quenching her blood thirst through sacrifices, and entertaining her with glorious and wild dances around colossal fires, her worshipers generate an immense energy – that reaches the heaves in all its turbulence. Kali has no interest in a dull and devoted believer. Her true worshipers are in nature themselves, and strong enough to understand what the authority of the wild means.  A cosmic force that has little to do with our selfish morality, badly disguising benefit and greed. A goddess who can’t be bought or flattered, looks to be appeased and celebrated by the brave and the aware. The ones who know that her justice is not built for them, and understand the complex meandering river that moves away from us back into the forest. Towards a breathing and alive darkness that one is never lost in. For the trees and animals there are not lost, and we can ask them assent to know and be known. For she is Yoga – Nidra, unwitnessed nature and unperceived reality and here we come upon a part of creation, not destined for us.  And in that stillness, a raging goddess, never consumed by herself, runs past us, naked as she hunts.
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KANYA KUMARI

A coast named after its protector. An adolescent girl warrior who fought, holding a sad and broken heart. For she was to marry a god, who never arrived.
Still, this is not a story of unrequited love but of a trick played by the gods and the misunderstanding that saved the land from a demon. A demon, who had prayed for and had received a strange boon -  an eternal life that could only be ended by an unmarried juvenile girl. The gods had to prepare for this chink in his armour. The demon Banasura who was also the ruler turned crueller as he did powerful, in that dark way, in which, evil feeds itself. He watched gleefully as the ocean took more and more and the gods watched quietly for they had set his defeat in motion -  
the Devi was born as a human child.
As a young girl, unknowing of her real form and purpose, she preoccupied herself with her desire to marry Shiva, who was her husband in her goddess form. But the gods knew if the marriage took place she would no longer be able to fight the demon. For her destiny to realize itself she needed to be unmarried and they needed the strong, wild and powerful side that could be angered.
When Shiva delightfully accepted her proposal of marriage, the gods acted swiftly. They created an artificial barrier by informing them of the one and only auspicious time for their wedding. An impossible hour far too early in the morning - warning the girl that her groom would have to make his way from his remote icy cave, high in the distant Himalayas to her home in the warm and sunny coasts of Tamil Nadu. Shiva, an enthusiastic groom, had left immediately, planning on a fast overnight journey that would have brought him to her in time. While the bride in her girlish joy, primed for the wedding, large amounts of food was cooked and a lavish ceremony was prepared. As the night wore on he travelled, but around midnight, the gods turned into roosters and called into the night, like it was morning already. Shiva, thinking he had missed the auspicious time for the wedding, returned sadly into the mountains. While the gods let the bride believe that she had been humiliated and jilted at the altar. In her pain and grief, she tore the celebrations down. She threw the food away and broke her bangles - all turning into the hued sands of Kanyakumari. A magical spot where the different waters merge, making the numerous coloured beaches from remote soils. Crying herself into the waters she slowly gained composure and receded into herself. A self-inflicted penance not understanding what had happened to her.
In that sinking tranquillity of pain, a proud Banasura tried to lure and approach Kumari. The infuriated girl slayed him at once. A surprised and now dying demon realised that the young woman before him was the Devi herself. In those moments before his death he prayed for her to absolve him of his sins.
Some say, having fulfilled her destiny, she returned to her goddess self and was reunited with Shiva. Others believe that the Kanya form of the Devi continues to stand guard, at that unique sharp tip of the peninsula. Where the outstretched horizon is the home to a setting and rising sun, a waxing and waning moon - where she fights the ocean forever in her eternal youth.  
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RADHA

With muted tones, controlled shading and the blotting out of any light the artist wants us to appreciate the implicit: the power of love. We are to engage with the goddess with comprehension, and joy. And the concept of the Whole is put before us at all times. So here is Radha, childhood friend and lover of Krishna, in a fuller form as Earth Mother – slightly paunchy, full breasted, a milky cow by her side. It is a voluptuous image, inherently and powerfully erotic. The faint outline of a peacock feather is the only sign of Krishna. But the focus is Radha. Radha is woman in her entirety – lover, friend, sister, daughter, mother. She is also a wife but not Krishna’s. The power and purity of her love is such that it transcends both social requirements and human frailties such as marriage or jealousy. Radha is complete unto herself. And the love that radiates from her is equally complete. It is, in fact, a celebration – in this case, of Krishna, asking nothing from him, not marriage nor fidelity. It is love that is spiritually and physically full: unconditional,eternal and liberating.
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SHAKTI

Shakti is power in its most elemental form. She is the female force that powers and animates the male. If Brahma is creator of the universe, Durga is the manifestation of his creative energy. Shakti is the source of the strength of the gods. The new world of male gods not being able to hold the force of her pagan strength, divided her into three. To Vishnu she comes as Lakshmi, to Shiva as Parvati and to Brahma as Saraswati.
Yet here she is, relaxed and languorous, playing with her weapons as if they were instruments. It is a lyrical, balmy composition, lush with feminine details. The artist wants to remind us that it is, indeed, in this soft, unassuming form that such potent power is to be found. We are reminded that soft is not weak. The only visual cue expressing potency is the colour red – a character by itself in this series. It is the colour of menstrual blood, of life itself. Without this feminine life giving force the gods are impotent. Thus one of the most potent and fundamental symbols of Hindu philosophy – the Shiva Lingam – male and female sexual energy joined – the source of all life.
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PARVATI

Everything in this piece speaks of oneness. Parvati with Ganesha, the two of them with their surroundings. Each flows into the other, merges with the other. The line of Parvati’s body seems to suggest a hilly terrain, the earth tones and deep green of her sari the land itself. The theme of the mother goddess is very powerful here: the idea of the feminine force being the fountainhead of all life. Ganesha has no father – he is entirely Parvati’s creation and seems to flow from her being. Mother and child are seen here sharing a moment of complete consonance. Red is a recurring motif in this series – the colour of fire and of blood. The colour of the life force.
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DURGA

A concentrated Zen like power emanates from this stunning Durga. She seems to arise out of fire, carries it with her, her lion’s orange mane mimics licking flames. Ice cold blue cuts through the burning red to create a sense of steely focus. The forward thrust of the forms with their sleek muscularity, the scimitar held over the shoulder complete this image of an unstoppable force. Durga is the quintessential warrior maiden.
This pose – Durga on her lion or the Abhay Mudra is the expression of the freedom from fear. Riding the lion symbolizes mastery over the ego.
Durga is the supreme mother goddess, a manifestation of the power of the supreme being - the united power of all the gods. Determination and will drive her to triumph over anything that comes in the way of pure knowledge and wisdom.
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LAKSHMI & ALAKSHMI

The two sisters are seen together. Each, a reminder of the other. Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune and her twin Alakshmi the disturbing other – the goddess of misfortune.
Comfortably familiar with her space in our hearts, Lakshmi is light itself. In her riches: fortune, generosity, beauty, grace, charm and her twin on the other hand - the opposite force. Lakshmi is ever welcomed, desired and pursued. A playful, whimsical, spontaneous goddess, and like with money itself - a struggle to keep. She mysteriously arrives and around her lingers an uneasy suspicion of her departure. Although, the promise of pleasure, prosperity and power keep us thoroughly gripped.
Alakshmi on the other hand is the unwanted sister. She who is appeased with gifts of lime and chilies we often find hanging on doorways, are meant for her. To satisfy her, before she feels the need to enter our homes. While the sweets for Lakshmi are stored deep inside the kitchen, drawing her in, where she may stay a while.
The idea that one can attain Lakshmi, just by recognizing her value Is glib and naïve. For, one doesn’t exist without the other. To truly know them, is to understand that fortune and misfortune are inseparable sisters who travel together. Two sides of a coin. To favor one over the other and separate them, we do life (in all its shades) an injustice. Their beauty, intertwined, leaves traces of themselves in the other. Like the darkness of the night, that stays in the black of our eyes all day, or the lit lamp that holds the glory of the sun all night, they are like the summer and monsoon - neither special without the other. A difficult truth, but one that is ultimately and triumphantly life affirming.
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