No exhibition on the Indian subcontinent would be complete without a painting of the Peacock. The peacock is the national bird of India and is firmly entrenched in the culture of the Indian subcontinent.
In the subcontinent, peacocks are symbolic of grace, pride and beauty. In ancient times, Kings in the subcontinent were known to have peacock gardens in their palaces. It was a great privilege, in those times, to be invited to the royal Peacock gardens to see the male peacocks dance during the mating season. Since this season coincides with the Monsoons in India, peacocks are very closely associated with abundance and plenty. Peacocks also feature in Indian Mythology as the ‘vehicle’ of God Karthikeya, Goddess Saraswathi and Goddess Mahamayuri. Lord Krishna was also always depicted as wearing a peacock feather tucked in his headband.
What I wanted to portray through my painting was the grace and beauty of the peacock through the medium of the famous ‘Mayil Kazhuthu’ colour of the peacock. Mayil Kazhuthu literally translates to ‘the neck of the Peacock’. In India, it is a colour by itself. However, it is difficult to replicate this colour due to the iridescent feathers on a peacock’s neck. Hence we see the mayil kazhuthu colour appearing only in the famed kancheevaram sarees, where the silk acts as the iridescent medium for the colour.
As an artist, I see this colour broken down into hues of dark blue, dark blue green and purple. And I used the medium of worli art to illustrate the grace, beauty and poise of the peacock.