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Motherhood: An Intimate Journey

Motherhood: An Intimate Journey: Rebecca Wallersteiner takes a look at Woven Odyssey, a powerful exhibition of new works by Artist Krushnapriya Smart at The Muse Gallery, London, charting the intimate and life-changing journey of motherhood

Until the twentieth century, many women spent most of their adult years pregnant. Despite this, pregnancies are seldom apparent in surviving portraits. Woven Odyssey, an exhibition of fresh works by contemporary artist Krushnapriya Smart, at the Muse Gallery, London, until 18th February, delves deeply into the intimate and life-changing journey of motherhood, charting the powerful emotions of the miraculous journey of bringing new life into the world.

Mudita Choudhary, co-curator of Woven Odyssey reflects, ‘The exhibition unveils a series of captivating artworks that portray Krushnapriya’s first-hand experiences during pregnancy. Vividly depicted are the warming moments of discovering the heartbeat, feeling the initial movements, and the overwhelming rush of emotions accompanying this miraculous period. These artworks serve as a testament to the unique and incomparable bond between a mother and her child.’

‘One of the exhibition’s highlights is the “Journey from Dot to Marks,” a striking portrayal that illustrates the physical and emotional metamorphosis undergone during and after childbirth. This series beautifully contains the nuances of joy and pain conveyed through symbolic representation in the artworks—each telling a profound story of maternal love.’

The exhibition also explores the little covered territory of the postpartum period, shedding light on the rollercoaster of emotions, the delicate balance between self-care and nurturing a new-born, and the beautifully chaotic journey that defines early motherhood. The artworks here mirror Krushnapriya’s personal journey of adapting to a new routine while navigating through a whirlwind of emotions. Moreover, she ingeniously explores the universal emotions experienced by everyone through a series of alluring cloud formations that embody love, anger, neutrality, worry, and joy—a testament to the shared emotional spectrum that unites us all.

Krushnapriya movingly depicts her daughter, Kairavini, capturing the tender moments of her first attempts at communication. Those early words and letters are represented through vibrant and organic shapes. In a continuation of that artwork lies the beauty of the evolving mother-child relationship, especially in the gradual discovery of language and the heartfelt

joy of being called ‘Ma,’ ‘Mumma,’ or ‘Mummy,’ presented through mesmerizing sound waves.

“Woven Odyssey” is not just an exhibition but a profound and evocative narrative that invites visitors to dive into a deeply personal and emotional voyage—a celebration of the sacred and extraordinary bond between a mother and her child, immortalized through the artist’s unparalleled creative expression using lines, dots, abstract shapes, and a variety of thread colours,’ says Choudhary.

This exhibition provides an exceptional opportunity to examine contemporary issues of pregnancy, birth and motherhood and the rollercoaster emotional journey it entails, no matter where you come from.

Woven Odyssey – Krushnapriya Smart at The Muse Gallery, 269 Portobello Road, London W11 until 18th February ‘24

Alex Abbott
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