A childlike naïveté and a sense of wonder permeate Madhvi Parekh’s paintings. Is it because the septuagenarian draws her creative sustenance not from the teeming cities where she has spent most of her adult life but from her memories of growing up in a village? “I have never forgotten the sights and sounds of my village; I carry them with me everywhere, and although they are often combined with elements I have imbibed living in the city, they still endure,” she confided to me several years ago.
The village she refers to is Sanjaya, in the Indian state of Gujarat, where she spent a happy childhood as the daughter of a primary-school principal. Various motifs from these early days crop up in her paintings: grazing cattle, a rustic charpoy bed, paths to the village shrine. There is, however, a twist. These are no simple vignettes of rural life but remembered scenes that have undergone
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