Born 1997 | Thenmala, Kerala
BFA, Painting, Govt. College of Fine Arts, Thrissur, Kerala
MVA, Painting, MS University, Baroda, Gujarat
Ahalya is a recipient of the Nasreen Mohamedi Scholarship Award, MSU Fine Arts, Baroda (2019). She is now currently living and continuing her studio practice in Baroda.
The central characters in Ahalya's artworks are usually those close to her - her family, friends and even her pets. Ahalya's paintings began from drawings of daily observations of agrarian life and her surroundings. Although her characters are always in the midst of 'doing', they carry a quiet, contemplative gaze. Birds and animals always accompany the characters in their meditation. While the inspiration for each work comes from a distinct reminiscence, they are all held together by the common experience of existence.They are part of a larger, interconnected narrative. According to Ahalya, it is looking for happiness in the small things that make this world liveable. Despite the sorrows, anxieties, and struggles brought by the pandemic, Ahalya chooses to depict a rekindling of the relationship that one had lost with nature and family.
Ahalya washes acrylic and watercolour on Wasli paper and details with charcoal pencil on top. Oftentimes, objects around her take her back to childhood memories and her work becomes an amalgamation of her own childhood and the new generation's as well. Ahalya's self-characters in her paintings wear the same white petticoat that she wore when she was young, as her childhood gave her many fond memories. Ahalya is more interested in creating a new premise through her narratives than drawing directly what she sees, whether it’s from travel or a daily sight. Happiness is something that remains constant, when Ahalya observes the sights around her, and also when the importance of that experience comes into the works.