“If there is magic on this planet it is contained in water”
Water, in Sanskrit, is called Apa or Jala, and in Hindu philosophy the term refers to water as an element, one of the Panchamahabhutas, or “five great elements”. An accomplished printmaker, Urmila’s new series is a collection of drawings titled “Aqua” focused entirely on the shape-shifting quality of water as a fundamental element.
This translucent element’s shape shifts between a spinning column of water and a crashing wave. While some artists showed a direct interest in water itself, such as Leonardo da Vinci who was fascinated by water throughout his illustrious career and studied it both as an artist/scientist and as a hydrological engineer, many others represented the many attributes of water conveyed literally, metaphorically, symbolically, or allegorically in mythology, religion, and folklore through their life’s works.
For Urmila VG, becoming a mother and looking at the body as a container of life inspired this series of work. During her pregnancy, seeing water as one of the major elements within the “body container”, it metaphorically represents the collection of water in the female body as gender-specific roles and duties within the domestic context. From the burden of representation in her previous works, Urmila breaks into representing water as foam. As with most liquids, water molecules are normally attracted to each other. This attraction creates tension at the surface of the water often seen as a thin ‘skin’. An interaction breaks the surface tension which in turn allows air to mix with water and create bubbles. These congregate as natural foams. Urmila focuses on drawing each bubble to create a web of life and celebrate life through the element – Water.