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Size: 36 x 27 inches
Medium: K3 Pigment Print on Archival Paper
Style: Digital Art
Edition: Edition of 10 + 2 Artist Prints
Signature: Bottom Right in English


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 way, unique and irreversible, the elephant headed scribe was created. The birth of a new god willed into being by Gauri the mother goddess.

About the Series:
This artwork is part of the “Sister Misfortune” series, through which the artist, Smruthi Gargi Eswar, narrates lesser-known stories from Indian mythology, while reflecting on the narrative surrounding women in our culture. Various Indian goddesses (devis) are depicted with a refreshing artistic lens.
In India, there is a constant burden on women to be “Devi-like”. Through this series, the artist attempts a reverse deification of the goddesses, making them appear like real women, in a real world. The series is an exploration not just of duality, but of multiplicity. It compels us to question our attitudes - women towards themselves, men towards women. How does the idea of a goddess coexist within every woman? How do we, as a society, so casually dismiss, disrespect, disregard, and defile in our everyday existence, those who we have bedecked with gold and enshrined in a temple?
  • ABOUT Smruthi Gargi Eswar

    Smruthi Gargi Eswar is an artist and storyteller. She studied at the Baroda Faculty of Fine Arts and Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore briefly. Her art studies started much earlier though, while she was still a student at The Valley School KFI. From a fine arts education, Smruthi moved on to graphic design and photography almost immediately. But over the last few years, she has ventured back into the world of art, finding within it, an avenue to explore, address and express at a more personal level. Her journey from graphic design to art initially established the medium in which her works were created. Now, they vary from terracotta to acrylic to photography. But one of the mediums she enjoys using the most to give voice to her artistic expression even today, is digital or graphic art.

    With shows travelling to Budapest, New York, Cochin, Delhi and Mumbai, Smruthi has always enjoyed collaborating with designers, performance artists and other creative professionals. In 2014, she did a solo show in New Delhi, showcasing works from her “Sister Misfortune” series at acclaimed fashion designer Ritu Kumar’s flagship store. The hugely successful art series, for which Smruthi has been creating works for over a decade, has also been exhibited in Kochi, Bangalore, and Mumbai. Smruthi is a board member of Art in Social Structures, an international NGO run and funded by artists that believes that art is the building block of all social structures. Her photography work has been published in India and the Philippines. Her work has been collected by art patrons around the world. The artist is based in Bangalore and Delhi.

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  • ABOUT Digital Art

    Digital art is a term used to describe an artistic practice that uses digital technology either as part of the creative or the presentation process. It falls under the umbrella world of new media art. Since the 1960s, various different names have been used to describe digital art, and some of the other commonly used terms include computer art, multimedia art, and even graphic art.

    Digital artworks can be created as unique or editioned pieces. To maintain the value and exclusivity of the artwork, an artist would typically destroy the source file (of the artwork), once the number of pre-decided pieces have been sold. Digital artworks may be presented digitally, but more commonly, they are printed works of art that can be hung on a wall, much like a painting.

    Contrary to misconception, creating digital art also requires artistic skills such as sketching, drawing and colouring, as digital artists use all of these to create their artworks on the computer. While there may be some lingering debate about the pros and cons of this new age medium of creation, there is no doubt, that digital art has created a vast expansion of the creative sphere.  

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