Anonymous (2019): Acrylic on Canvas (16” x 20”)
Anonymous (2019): Acrylic on Canvas (16” x 20”)

Roma Madan-Soni


Anonymous (2019) is my painterly description of the woman whose menstrual blood turns into a tool of oppression and maintains her as fearful and subjugated. Anonymous's core positioning permits her to get pulled, and/or to pull the strings back from the patriarch-puppet master, as she bolsters her position within the dualities of culture and nature, man and woman, public and private, morality and immorality, life and death, of being the creator and destructor, and of governing her own umbilical cord until death. The manifold tones and chromatic power of molten-red blood that saturates the canvas suggests stratums of connotations. Concurrently, I associate it with the contemporaneousness of Honor Based Killing, which materializes the bodies of women, objectifies them, and defines the parameters for what is acceptable and/or not. The dramatic moment of evolution is inscribed around the puppet-girl's form as blood settles around it as a fluid medium, as both menstrual and honor-based. The boldly reduced palette adds to the impudence, my intent being to shock as much as seduce Anonymous's viewer. As a feminist artist, I am motivated by the term 'Menstrala', coined by 'menstrual painter' Vanessa Tiegs (2000), refers to a continually growing global art movement that rejects the sense of humiliation associated with menstruation; it disregards religious, cultural or national borders. Her paintings are a reminder that menstruation can be discussed directly and that this time in the fertility cycle can be filled with profundity. Her art works towards the word 'Menstrala' becoming as universal as our cycles.

Roma Madan-Soni holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Wolverhampton. Her art, teaching, and research are interdisciplinary, positioned at the intersection of feminist art practice, theory and history, contemporary visual politics and ecofeminism. Her exploratory and research interests focus on visual cultures, gender, colonial studies, and postcolonial criticism, and modern and contemporary art based on social and environmental issues. She has exhibited work and published numerous articles on these topics for the International Feminist Journal of Politics, Crafts Research Journal, Art & The Public Sphere, NECSUS_European Journal of Media Studies, Journal of Visual Art Practice, and Swasti. She has made presentations at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Lady Sriram College, Raza Foundation, and College Arts Association (2021). She chairs the 'Transformative Education Think Tank' for the 'Collective Impact Coalition', for Env.earth in collaboration with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. She was commissioned by TAPRI, Finland, for her work. Her work adorns the cover of the book, Routledge Handbook of Feminist Peace Research (2021). Professor Soni has received research grants and awards from the Kuwait Foundation of Science, Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research, United Nations Habitat, and Arab Open University, among others. Her paintings and installations, based on social and environmental issues, have been exhibited at the Dar Al Athar Al Islamiyah, The Scientific Center Kuwait, MOMA-Kuwait, and Masaha 13, to name a few.

https://romasoni.blogspot.com/2020/08/water-drops-on-coral.html