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English at Large
Site #6
400 High Street (Congregational Church, entrance on Allston Street)

Photography & water colors

Sunanda Sahay
Sunanda Sahay grew up in Darbhanga, the heart of the Madhubani region in northern India.  The region, part of Mithila, lies near the border of India and Nepal and carries a rich pastel of cultural legacy in art and literature.  Artistic interests led Sunanda to seek out practitioners of the art from local villages and learn directly from them.

Despite royal patronage, Madhubani paintings have retained their simplistic folk origins.  It is a living art and visitors can see lovely murals on the clay walls of Madhubani village homes even today.  Sunanda's works have stayed true to the traditional themes of mythology and social customs, and her style has not deviated from the dense, arching, and brightly colored strokes characteristic of the art.  Though a few male artists have received renown in recent years in this art, Madhubani paintings have customarily been practiced exclusively by women. 

After earning a Masters in English literature, Sunanda now lives in Acton, MA, with her two sons and husband.  She retains her lifelong association with Mithila where her parents are practicing physicians.  She continues to revisit Madhubani periodically to spend weeks with the local artists, refining her techniques and rediscovering the endless assortment of themes.

Sunanda has been painting for over a decade and recently exhibited her works at the Peabody Essex Museum (2007, 2009, 2010), Museum of Fine Arts (2009), the National Heritage Museum, Boston Childrens’ Museum, Danforth Museum, and the Massachusetts College of Art.  She has also held exhibitions and interactive workshops at several community places and libraries in several towns, including Lexington, Newton, Lincoln, Weston, Wellesley, and Cambridge, and designed cover for children’s magazine.  The paintings have received widespread attention and acclaim, including several juried show selections, an award by the Fitchburg Art Museum and MCC award for 2010.  She has displayed her works at Mass General Hospital’s Hope program for emotional healing of the cancer patients. More information is available at www.ColorOfIndia.com, and Sunanda can be reached at sun.sahay@gmail.com.

Artist Statement

India has a rich tradition of nursing and nurturing pluralistic cultural and artistic heritage.  But stone temples survive longer than colors drawn on clay walls and painting styles survive centuries only when adopted by unbroken generations of local populace.  One such artistic heritage to survive the ravages of time, conquerors, and neglect is the Madhubani School of Painting, still practiced in the villages ensconced in the foothills of the Himalayas in eastern India.  And I consider myself immensely fortunate to call this region my home, and to have learned the art and practiced it with the local folk artists.

Despite royal patronage, Madhubani paintings have retained their simplistic folk origins.  It is a living art and visitors can see lovely murals on the clay walls of Madhubani village homes even today.  My works have stayed true to the traditional themes of mythology and social customs, and my style has not deviated from the dense, arching, and bright strokes in primary colors characteristic of the art.  I even fit the conventional gender role – Madhubani paintings have customarily been practiced exclusively by women.  I do prefer, however, to paint on fabric rather than on clay walls, and to use modern fabric paint rather than make my own from fruit and vegetable dyes. 

Each painting displayed here depicts scenes from the two great Indian epic poems – the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.  I hope that the paintings have succeeded in capturing some of the philosophical sensibilities of these noble classics.

Jeannette Timpe-Wolff

Biography
My name is Jeannette Timpe-Wolff and I am born in Germany. In 2005 my family and I moved to the United States of America, where I started to photograph everything I see that stirs a feeling inside me. I have images of plants, wildlife, landscapes, architecture, farms, estates, events and travel destinations.  My photographs comprise landscape images as well as close-up details and everything in between, striving to include only those elements that enhance an image and exclude those elements that detract from it.

As a graphic designer I have a keen eye for details. I couple this with my love of photography. This combination of skills has enabled me to excel with my own business as well as create personal photographs that allow my family and friends to relive our memories. I feel that photography is my creative outlet. I thoroughly enjoy taking pictures and carry my camera with me almost every day.

Website: www.jtw-design.de and www.jtw-design.com