Alingan intimate embrace

Alingan intimate embrace

February 12th 2023

Alingan intimate embrace: Anni Kumari

Anni Kumari is a symbol of New India, which is inclusive, plural, hybrid, culturally diverse, and yet polarised in many ways. Born was in Jharkhand, Anni has lived in Jamshedpur, Delhi, and Rishikesh, in three different Indian states. Her artistic practise is divided into three categories: art, craft, and design.  

She is perpetually questioning all of the above.  Her paintings attempt to depict the confluence and convergence of her lived experiences. As a intellectual artist, Anni makes art works that moves you with the power of her imagination.

As a young girl, she was engrossed in drawings as a way to keep her occupied after school while her parents were out at work. It was this leisure activity that, in a way, still drives her practice.

She studied science in school, Kerala Samagam in Jamshedpur, political science in her first undergraduate degree from the prestigious Miranda House, and finally a BFA and MFA in Fine Arts. Painting at the Delhi College of Art completed her formal education. The variety of disciplines, as well as the diversity of her educational institutions and subsequent education, imbue her art works with a distinct language.

A scholarship from Sahapedia, an online cultural platform, led her to study “kolam,” the ritualistic patterns of Tamil Nadu. An important body of her work emerges from the dots and the grids of sacred “kolam” geometries. The minimalism and the scientific grid of Kolam form the backbone of her stark black and white abstract patterns, which make powerful and compelling artworks, overwhelming the viewer with their scale and depth.

The second body of work is very different, particularly in the materials she wields. Using acrylic, oil, spider webs, and synthetic resin canvas, Anni creates complex collages representing her back-and-forth journeys between the three states has lived in. “My work can be seen as a landscape, a design, a tapestry, a collage, or an ensemble of all these things. “I don’t know how to define my college, but I do know that it contains fragments of my experiences living in three different cities: Rishikesh, Jamshedpur, and Delhi,” Anni says.

Dr. Alka Pande

Author and Curator of Art

Winter in Delhi in 2022