Lion (Early 1990s) 3 x 4.5 ft, canvas , oil paint and Camlin texture white
This painting was part of an exhibition held in Amsterdam. Six of the paintings in the exhibition had a focus on the Indian circus, including this one, but some were also about other subjects. On request, this painting was gifted to a young man who fell in love with it.
This is a painting of a real lion that I had seen when I roamed around outside a circus tent. I felt quite sad for the lion, who I noticed was clearly very bored. This lion inspired me to make a painting about him. If you look very carefully you can see that the lion is looking through the bars at the front. However, behind him his cage door at the back open. I gave him an option to choose freedom but despite that chance, the lion is not using it. He does not know what freedom is and is afraid!
I sometimes make paintings when I feel quite helpless. I may see a situation, think about it, and then try to express the feelings I have in my painting. I am glad to say that animals have not been allowed to perform in circuses in India for several years now. In fact, circuses are now almost obsolete and only one or two still remain in the country.
My mother, who is a tapestry weaver, really liked this painting. She made a beautiful tapestry based on it that is just the same size as the original. It is included here.