Radha Lakshmi is an interdisciplinary artist whose contemporary works of art emerges from the ‘Feminine and Earth’ and women’s ritual arts from South of India. Radha is educated at University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA with a Masters of Fine Art, summa cum laude and Bachelors of Fine Art, magna cum laude, from the Art Academy of Cincinnati, USA. Her span of experience and content reaches from the Folklore traditions of Southern India to the Indigenous Art of Northern Territory of Australia and to traditional and contemporary printmaking. She has worked as an art consultant and faculty at Srishti School of Art Design and Technology, Bangalore India from 2006 to 2009.
She has been a visiting Scholar at RISD, Darwin University, Australia and College of Fine Arts in Sydney Australia. She has won a number of awards for her art and her works has been collected in Museums and Galleries nationally and internationally. She currently lives in Cincinnati and teaches 'Creating Sacred Spaces' workshops through art and meditation for children and adults.
In Chennai, Southern India, where I grew up, women rose before dawn. It was their quiet time with the universe; free from their hectic schedule that they face during the day, women clean and draw geometrical rice powdered patterns on the ground, at the entrances of their home. This traditional ritual of creating sacred patterns with rice powder or paste on walls or the ground is a tradition that has been passed down from mother to daughter for over two thousand years. It is known with different names in different parts of India, Kolam, Mandala in Chennai, Athipu in Kerala, Alpana in Bengal, Madana in Rajasthan etc.
Over the years, my art and research is inspired by my early exposure to this oral tradition and printmaking. Travelling and collaborating with tribal artists in India, Australia and the First Nation people in Canada, has empowered me in many ways. Now my work has really come full circle just like a Mandala. The Mandala, “circle” in Sanskrit, represents wholeness, an integrated view of the world and the universe. Making a Mandala is described as the process of mapping one’s inner world. I take photographs of images in daily life of nature patterns or textures that reminds me about this particular aspect of Sacred Geometry. I find myself slipping into a trance like state and loose my self to the cosmic story that is unfolding in front of my very eyes. This whole process is very ritualized. And in my case, it’s the ritual of creating mandala on paper or through technology and sharing my Journey. I hope and pray for peace for everyone.