Earth, Trees, Woman, Universe Expressed in Art & Poetry
Women & Earth – 1. Snapshot and 2. Descriptive
- Snapshot – Women in Art, Poetry & Writing by Smeetha Bhoumik
Art – She Is (Oils, Pen & Ink, 2009- 2012), Tardigrades (Acrylic, 2009)
She Is (Video, 2009), Earth-Woman (Watercolour, 2003), Peepwood (Oils, 2003)
(Main theme of work – The Universe series)
Video – Turning Into Trees, 2016. Girl Child 2009
Poems – S-TREE (2012).
I Speak Earth (2017, published in Writing Language, Culture, Development – Asia vs Africa, Anthology, 2018, Edited by Tendai Rwanos Mwanaka, Upal Deb, Makhoka & others, Mwanaka, 2018)
Book – Where I Belong- Moments, Mist & Song (Notion, 2019) – Reviewed by Urna Bose in this issue.
Women & Earth
Do women have intuitive closer bonds with the earth, a natural affinity? I’ve often wondered….
My early works reflect this closeness, depicting the feminine identity through interconnected women, trees and earth. While creating the artworks it was not a conscious decision to do so, but in retrospect, the affinity is clearly borne out. Artworks like Tree-Woman, (watercolour, 2002), Peepwood, (oil, 2003) are examples.
My main theme of work is The Universe Series in oils and new media, but there is also a focus on women – with respect to safety, survival and changing perspectives, expressed in series like ‘She Is‘ – pen&ink, oils, 2009-2012, ‘Tardigrades‘ – oil, acrylic, 2009, ‘She Is‘ – video 2012,
S-TREE,‘ a poem, 2012.
In the poem S-TREE, a woman turns into a tree for shelter.
My Earth connect has always been very strong ever since childhood, and it’s been deepening steadily throughout the pandemic. To heal and revive, our poetry writing month at #CeWoPoWriMoWE ’20 focused on an immersive experience with nature, that I was privileged to lead. We wrote to prompts that led us into forests, oceans, mountains and rivers. The prompts were sensory, offering audio visual elements that heightened the experience. It was glorious writing together – the participation so very heartfelt and the poetry that flowed a treasure to be cherished.
Back to the earth connect, I have a poem titled ‘I Speak Earth‘ written during GloPoWriMo 2017 (by The Missing Slate) and published in the significant anthology ‘Writing Language, Development & Culture – Asia vs Africa’ edited by Tendai Mwanaka Rinos, Upal Deb, Makhoka and others (Mwanaka, 2018). This poem delves into identity, expressing a deep connection with earth.
An early artwork (2002) in water colours ‘Tree-Woman‘ shows a woman embodied in a tree, very much a part of its beautiful presence. Another work in oils titled ‘Peepwood’ (circa 2003) shows a collage of faces and leaves and twigs, in ochre, brown and green.
A video titled ‘ Turning Into Trees’ (spring 2016) depicts an intense identification, a warm response to the call of the earth. It is presented below the pictures here. (Created & shared on facebook in spring 2016, uploaded on Youtube in March 2022).
Call of the Earth – Pandemic Times
In 2021, the call of the earth became like a clarion call for me after spending almost a year feeling anxious, scared and tense. In our poetry writing space at #CeWoPoWriMoWE 2021, I created an opportunity to return to nature, soaking in the vastness, the beauty and embrace of the earth, by offering prompts with rivers, oceans, trees and more. We had written beyond April, till the very end of July, thanks to Rituparna Khan.
Turning Into Trees – Spring 2016
Turning Into Trees– Photographs, Video (facebook post, spring 2016, with Nabina Das, Sucharita Balraj, Shalini Roy, Meenal Jain)
Tree-Woman (Watercolour on paper, 2002)
Angarky Sky, Universe Series, Oil on canvas, 2004
Turning Into Trees – Video, Spring 2016