Who do you see? Devata or Devi?
Obsession with drawing and painting is Vijaya Laxmi's genetic code. Pursuing art as a free-time hobby flowered into a passion of extremes where she could forgo sleep to complete canvasses and thus began her creative journey as a professional artist.
Also practicing clay modelling, she credits herself with a substantial part in promoting the concept of 'Green Ganeshas'.
Themed Concepts of Modern Divine
Sensing and feeling divinity within her and outside of her, she has explored this divinity through her artwork in a modern and contemporary manner. Her work is mostly figurative created using oil and acrylics on canvas in subtle blues and greys, attempting to convey a story.
According to Vijayalaxmi, the female form has allure, grace and beauty emerging from the gentleness of form, the curves – be it the nose, the neck, the torso, the bosom, the waist; the softness of lines of fingers and toes convey a sense of movement. There is remarkable strength in what to the eye looks merely dainty.
The Devi Series
To convey the message that each female has a different rupa, she has created a series, Devi, which is a reflection of her unhappiness where people see a woman as a goddess but not the other way round. Unlike calendar art, she has depicted the various Devi in a simple manner, without the much elaborate attributes of goddesses with heavy ornamentation.
She says that simplicity is itself the beauty of a message: 'Here She is – now you draw your own meaning, interpret it, but here are my guidelines.'
Laxmi in her work is depicted as smiling – as everyone wishes to be blessed by her bounteous grace. Devi Kali's face projects the anger or rage at injustice. Like Kali, Durga too has a more chiseled face, emphasising their strength, both destructive and creative.
The Shiv-Shakti series is where she sees Shiv and Shakti as one – separate and together but spiritually one. It is a glorious representation of souls, their quest for merger and the attainment of the moment when they are immersed into each other.
Vijaya Laxmi sees Shiva not just in a male form but also as a female – the ardhanarishwar. He manifests himself in a complex dual form; the two forms merged in a manner where it is difficult to point where the male form ends and the female begins.
She has showcased the constant effort of Shakti to merge with Shiva in the He-She element through a series of paintings like Shakti seeking his attention; Shakti with the power of her will, she herself transforms into Shiva in the posture of meditation, but with her feminine physical attributes intact; Shakti trying to create a Shiva into whom she can merge.
Traditional is Evergreen
For Vijaya Laxmi, the visual language on the canvas is the marriage of an idea, a thought, the medium and the expression using the mediums. Even an ordinary thing has to be beautified or the art is lesser for it.
For her, digital art is flat and does not reflect the energy that the strokes of a brush provide, imparting life into a work of art. The computer screen's size and the size of her canvases are of no comparison. Working on an actual canvas scale is a stupendous realisation that the good old brush can turn a trick or two which machines may not be able to.