Yamini Mohan’s charcoal drawings displayed at galleries in Kochi and New Delhi are inspired from shades of her life.
Loud, bold and expressive. Artist Yamini Mohan’s drawings in charcoal displayed at the Indriyam Art gallery in Kochi can be summed up so. Anecdotes from daily life, they portray her takes on life as a whole. “Charcoal has always been my favourite medium,” says Yamini, an admirer of expressionism. “I like to express my feelings strongly, using bold strokes. I do paintings. However, I have never felt the kind of depth that charcoal provides while working with colours. So, I chose the medium,” says Yamini.
Another aspect that drew Yamini to charcoal is its flexibility. “It is, obviously, a difficult medium that should be applied with care because one cannot erase it completely. At the same time, it is flexible and good for sketching. With practice, one can achieve this flexibility in sketching,” says Yamini. “As a mother of two, I don’t have the luxury of spending time choosing various paints. Charcoal comes easier for me. I make it a point to do at least one sketch a day to nourish my skill,” says the artist, who won the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi Special Mention Award in 2007. Her sketch books are left open at the Kochi gallery for visitors to take a look. “So that, they can comprehend the process.”
Yamini, who is currently settled in the U.A.E., has numerous shows to her credit. Right now, besides the solo show Aflame in Kochi, she also takes part in the exhibition Image In-Side-Out at Triveni Kala Sangam in New Delhi along with artist Sayam Bharat Yadav. “The show Image In-Side-Out consists of 10 charcoal works.”
When it comes to choosing and depicting subjects, Yamini is honest. Be it family, relationships, love, sexuality or women’s issues, she does not veil her thoughts. “Why should I?” asks the artist who loves experimenting with figures. “Such questions arise only when a female does that. I don’t hesitate to speak loud. My body is my inspiration. So, I shouldn’t be worried,” she laughs.
Earlier, when she used the imagery of crow in her series Riot to signify her protest against social evils, many found it negative. “I was deeply disturbed by the silence we showed in the face of crimes, especially against women. For me, cawing stood as the voice of protest. However, many found it otherwise, which I respect. But, that does not change my stance,” she affirms, adding that she will continue channelising her thoughts through art. “I am not good at expressing through words. But, I can clearly speak my mind with my art,” she sums up.