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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 fifth day of the festival of lights is dedicated to a pair of twins. The male half of the twins is Yama - known as the king of righteousness but more famously as the god of death. The female half of this duo is Yamuna - the river goddess. A goddess with a certain kindness and willingness to be able to take in the pain and sorrow of others. She is referred to as the goddesses of tenderness, love and passion, and her life was made up of a series of momentous gestures.
In her calm and meandering course we hear stories that occurred within her - the birth of Vyasa (the author of the Mahabharat), the childhood of Krishna and Radha, of her consorts Shiva and Vishnu and so many more, as mortals and immortals crossed paths mixing the divine with the human. Watching complex and strange lives playout, as they josseled, pivoted by curses and boons, Yamuna tenderly held us in a stillness within her moving waters.
Siblings are intertwined in inexplicable ways, for all who pray and dip in her waters, wash away the fear of her brother - the god of death. A boon and power given to her by him. So, on that fifth day of Deepavali, siblings come together to worship and have their relationship blessed and to show gratitude for each other. For, on this day the twins come together to bless all who do the same.
Born into an illustrious family (her father the Sun god and her mother the goddess of clouds), she is known for ignoring the narrow furrows of rules and decorum with a casual disregard, being led by love and at times passion.
A grieving Shiva, had appeared with a dark and heavy sadness, having lost his wife Sati. Taking his pain into herself, she turned into a deep and dark blue - a unique color for rivers on the Gangetic plains.
Did rivers have meaning in themselves or were the stories that flowed within them that brought meaning? Yamuna’s story is an old one, that flows through us, washing away all the fear and pain, we seem to hold so close.

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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