Artwork #4

Tulsi Pooja

by Shruti Mehta, Council District 6

Mixed media, 2019

Courtesy of the Artist

Tulsi plant, or holy basil, is considered auspicious and is famous for herbal remedies. Most Indian homes have a Tulsi plant in their courtyard for positive vibrations. The Sanskrit shloka in the painting means when one’s mind is under one’s control, one is able to concentrate on a task, then one has reached the state of yoga. This painting also has some elements of Pichwai painting style from the State of Rajasthan, India.

I grew up in India, watching the women of the family and surroundings, engaging in daily rituals to enrich their lives such as praying and making offerings to nature and one of those was offering water to the Tulsi plant. I was inspired by the beauty of this ritual, the gorgeous colours and fabric of the Indian outfits and jewelry these women adorned themselves with. I have a passion for painting ethnic women engaged in the mundane routines of the day because these are the routines that enriches the lives of others in the family.