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Pieces of India – Otago Daily Times 2010

Rajasthani Puppets
Otago Daily Times
“Pieces of India”, an exhibition of paintings by Kirsten Baldwin, splashes the walls of Moray Gallery with rich, bright colours and exotic patterns.

Baldwin’s use of sharp angles and ordered composition complements her elegant and extremely detailed textile-like patterning of saris, turbans and shoes. Along with traditional Indian dress, subject matter includes the more whimsical magic carpets, a Turban Tree and Rajasthani Puppets, as well as displays of rural and urban life.

Paisley is pure pattern; beads have been intricately woven into the work. I See You is composed like a pattern, but depicts a crowd of people, their eyes looking in all directions. Great attention is paid to detail in the eyes, eyebrows, bindis and turbans.

Women in Sari Shop is beautifully executed, and is the best example of Baldwin’s dynamic compositional skills and textile detailing. Six women are shown in profile, each looking inward. Placed among them are differently coloured and patterned blocks representing saris. This painting is a highlight and its imagery itself would make a wonderful piece of wearable art.

Three images of puppets hang in series. These fun, lively cartoonish works are a fitting endnote to an exhibition that is a real feast for the eye.