Students portray gender issues through paintings

New Delhi: A boy hides behind a veil, questioning his identity in a world filled with discrimination while a young girl refuses to sit passively and wants to spread her wings. Artwork such as these depicting the outlook of students towards gender issues in India are on display here.

At an exhibition titled "The Gender Defined World", over 22 artworks by students of Class 11 and 12 - in the age group of 17-18 years - from various Indian states are mounted at the India Habitat Centre. It was inaugurated Friday.

Organised by the Arts University Bournemouth (AUB) of Britain, the exhibition is an offshoot of an international art competition titled "Who are you? In a Gender Defined World".

"The message one interprets through these paintings is that children are very sensitive about gender issues, and any opportunity to give them a different medium to express their opinions allows people to read their mind," AUB Vice Chancellor Stuart Bartholomew told IANS.

"Issues of identity and gender bias are enshrined in their minds. This opportunity allowed them to ask certain tough questions to perceive how individually they see gender biases and other issues plaguing the country," he said.

Muzammil Hussain, one of the top five winners of the competition, had painted eyes looking forward to a bias-free world, whereas Richa Jain painted a girl breaking free from her caged existence.

"My serene, searching eyes long for a better tomorrow that is without any bias," Hussain said.

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