Love Life

By Anju Dodiya 0

Over two decades artist Anju Dodiya has dreamed into being a series of couples overcome by desire

I surprised myself, looking back over the last twenty years, to find that I have created an inventory of lovers. There are couples, murderous, intently in love. There are others, more distracted, multi-tasking lovers, living the busy city life. Posing questions… If two heads lay side by side on Albrecht Dürer’s pillows in 1493, would they love more gently? Is love ever gentle?

            It is often a pageant of torn clouds, gathering in a storm.

           On a yellow summer day when love doesn’t speak, little birds will teach it new words, like in the fable of the mute. In the nocturnal heat of the artist’s studio, Japanese lovers wrestle in fabulous copulation in the 19th-century Ukiyo-e prints.

        And then there is Penelope. In her black and white dreams, the elegant embrace of an Antonioni film goes on, in a non-stop loop. She waits and weaves, she unravels and waits, while her Ulysses wanders the world.

      But elegance is not what love seeks. Lovers make do with the rough stumble of what the day or night brings. There is no strategy.

           I stand by in a time shell and watch.

Lovers, 1998 | Watercolour on paper 22 x 70 inches

Lovers 1998 | Watercolour on paper | 22 x 70 inches

 

Dance, 2001 | Watercolour and charcoal on paper | 70 x 45 inches

Dance 2001 | Watercolour and charcoal on paper | 70 x 45 inches

 

White Nights, 2009 Watercolour and charcoal on paper | 73 x 45 inches

White Nights 2009 | Watercolour and charcoal on paper | 73 x 45 inches

 

Forked, 2005 Acrylic on fabric 72 x 42 inches

Forked 2005 | Acrylic on fabric | 72 x 42 inches

 

Pearl Prophecy, 2015 Acrylic on fabric board 72 x 45 inches

Pearl Prophecy 2015 | Acrylic on fabric board | 72 x 45 inches

 

The Path of Berries, 2006 Acrylic on mattress 78 x 46 x 7 inches

The Path of Berries 2006 | Acrylic on mattress | 78 x 46 x 7 inches

 

Nocturne, 2005 Acrylic on mattress 78 x 46 x 7 inches

Nocturne 2005 | Acrylic on mattress | 78 x 46 x 7 inches

 

Golden Repose, 2015 Acrylic and charcoal on fabric board 69 x 48 inches

Golden Repose 2015 | Acrylic and charcoal on fabric board | 69 x 48 inches

 

Wind-up, 2010 Watercolour, charcoal and soft pastel on paper. 73 x 45 inches

Wind-up  2010 | Watercolour, charcoal and soft pastel on paper | 73 x 45 inches


This essay was published in the Oct-Dec ’17 issue of The Indian Quarterly. This issue marked 5th anniversary of the magazine, and is based on the theme “Love”.

Leave A Response