A Czech artist experiments with different techniques to make up for lost time in her painterly pursuits

Czech-born Aurovilian Ivana Frousava is holding a solo exhibition at Auroville.

Czech-born Aurovilian Ivana Frousava is holding a solo exhibition at Auroville.

Ivana Frousova first took up a brush and palette of water colours when she was in her middle age. But, ever since, she has been painting every day, almost as if she were making up for lost time in painterly pursuits.

The Czech-born artist who made Auroville home in July 2014 last week made bold to hold her first solo exhibition at the Kala Kendra, Bharat Nivas, where about hundred works of hers are on display.

“It is my first solo exhibition…it is scary and exciting at once,” says Ms. Frousova.

The exhibition, which opened on April 13 in the presence of friends and well-wishers and an important guest in Mohan Verghese Chunkath, Secretary of Auroville Foundation, is on till April 21. In fact, the show had a musical initiation featuring live singing by her friend Carla from a Czech opera ‘Rusalka’ (water sprite).

The artist had earlier participated in a women’s show at Kala Kendra in 2016 and more recently at a women artists’ show at the Cholamandal Artist Village a couple of months ago. Her works featured at the Art Market at Khajuraho dance festival.

Ms. Frousova was the curator for an exhibition hosted at the Kottakarai bus stop on Sunday as part of the ‘The World Post Contemporary Wave’ hosted by Narrative Movements, a global collective of artists. Narrative Movements celebrated World Art Day with public exhibitions simultaneously in 40 places all over the world on the same day to promote peace and harmony.

“Art is a part of daily life, like water, for me,” says Ms. Frousova, who likes to experiment with different techniques and media.

“If there is an event in Auroville I usually paint there…Hibiscus Village was the last occasion,” she said.

Hailing from the Czech Republic, Ivana Frousova lived in the UK for nine years which was when she began to paint at the age of 48.

Restlessness and confusion about life’s purpose eventually drew her to Auroville where she would discover her true calling.

Ms. Frousova loves to do portraits. “I did many portraits for villagers around Auroville with charcoal”.

In fact, one of the highlights of her exhibition is the section with charcoal portraits of Tamil workers.

“Some portraits carry notes, some of them in Tamil, as I received them originally. It was written sometimes by another person who wrote about the worker as he/she was not able to write. The portraits are displayed without frames…these people are not Aurovilians but they help to build up Auroville so they are Unframed Aurovilians,” said Ms. Frousova.

Rayapudupakkam is her favourite spot to draw children. “I give them free portraits and they fight with each other to decide who will sit still for the next sketch,” she said.

Originally posted at The Hindu – April 17, 2018