Lakshmi’s World, 2021

Sabita Lakshmanan

Ink, watercolor, stitches with red-colored thread on paper

Around the misogynistic tradition of daughter-aversion thrives a 2000-crore industry of ill-gotten wealth through illegal sex determination, gender-selective abortion and medical corruption. This artwork in its many layers tries to depict this sordid tale while leaving space for a conscious choice to reverse this reality and make a positive change. 

The lotus symbolises femininity and in this case, the womb of a pregnant mother-to-be, a Lakshmi in distress. She is faced with the horrific non-choice of destroying her own daughter, a tiny Lakshmi or fighting the intense social and economic pressure to let her be born. 

The repeated cycles of multiple abortions (or deliveries) till a boy is born, takes a huge toll on the emotional, mental and physical health of the woman - which is depicted by the frayed textured of some petals and the falling petals.

The stitches in red-coloured thread symbolise the immense unspoken trauma and the continuing future repercussions of pain and violence. The web represents the intricate web of deceit, regressive beliefs, economic pressure, insecurity and patriarchal conditioning that the hapless mother is caught in and the cannibalistic collusion of murdering a baby girl for vested interests.

The stem of the lotus is a metaphor for society, which is meant to be the support system for its women members. But the reality is that this system harbours so many evil practices which sabotage their well-being and potential at every stage.

About the artist:

Sabita is an expressionist artist. Her artwork naturally expresses a deep resonance for the environmental and feminist-humanist concerns that are at crossroads in our society today. Her work has been represented in many local, national and of late, several international group exhibitions with well-known curators.

See from other artists

Vanishing Girls is a campaign initiated by ADF India to raise awareness against the practise of sex-selective abortions and to advocate for effective implementation of the Pre-Conception Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994.
cross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram