About T K Padmini
Born in 1940, Padmini spent her early years in a village near Ponnani in Kerala. She was married to artist Damodaran. And after a brief period of marital bliss, she died in childbirth in 1969, at the tender age of 29. Her child too didn’t survive.
Padmini’s name which was resting in oblivion, is slowly capturing the due recognition. Her paintings are now displayed at The National Art Gallery and Salar Jung Museum, Hyderabad. Kerala Lalithakala Akademi has a dedicated gallery with 86 works of T K Padmini at Durbar Hall Ground Art Gallery, Kochi. The Akademi published a book on her, titled T.K.Padmini,a Monograph, in 2005 and also instituted an annual award in her name, T.K.Padmini Puraskaram. In 2012, the Information and Public Relations Department of the Government of Kerala produced a 30-minute documentary on the life of Padmini under the title, Pattam Parathunna Penkutty. The film directed by Walter D'Cruz received several awards. Padmini, a biopic on the life of the artist,was released in 2018. The film, written and directed by writer Susmesh Chandroth,was produced by a community of art lovers from Kerala.
Padmini explores a woman's sensibilities. Women live here in harmony with nature. They are part of a planet where trees, birds,and animals cohabit. They work, relax and dream.There is a celebration of the female body in different postures with a marked intensity of expression. With minimalism, the women in their postures suggest a strong desire for freedom, even sexual freedom. Theirs are the stories of relationships as well. Innocent girl and boy go to school together;girl children enjoy games; maidens dream of love and sex. Bonding runs as an underlying theme in the innumerable sketches of women.
Padmini's pictorial art uncovers a sombre world drawn in brooding hues. The artist takes us to the darker side. Love and relationships are cast in an aura of mystery. Sexuality, loneliness and protest light up her figures. Sexual joys enrapture both the male and the female, a feature of typical Indian aesthetics rooted in our traditional art. Expressionism gives touches to her artscape. More than form, the intensity of expressions radiate from curves and lines, which are tell-tale marks. Subtle subversions in rural ethos make them symbols of humanity. Ease, spontaneity and commitment are the salient features of her art.
She graduated from Government College Of Fine Arts,Chennai.She had the opportunity to get trained under legendary KCS Paniker who was the Principal of the college at that time.She completed the six-year diploma in four years by securing double promotion twice,passing with a first rank in 1965. Awards
Madras State Lalithakala Academy award for her painting “Growth” in 1963.
Award from Madras State Lalit Kala Academy for her painting, "Dreamland" in 1967.
Award from Madras State Lalit Kala Academy for her painting, "Dawn" in 1967.
The Association of Young Painters and Sculptors (AYPS) awarded her their annual award for the painting, Women in 1965.
T K Padmini's Works