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In pics: This artist’s poignant portraits of migrant workers will make you pause

Amid coronavirus pandemic, we have seen people channeling their inner artist and coming up with wonderful artwork. And some people find this situation an opportunity to sketch/ paint more and more and tell stories through their art as the pandemic now forces us to stay at home.

While we talk about pandemic, it is imperative to talk about plight of migrant workers. It is important that we highlight their struggles amid these tough times.

Well, now, this artist has found a way to tell people stories about the migrant workers who are eagerly waiting return to their hometowns as the pandemic has brought lives to a standstill.

Narrating her story Falguni Mehta of how this pandemic gave her more time to pursue what she loves!

“I have lived the most protected and pampered life. Painting away and taking so many things for granted, until, one day when hell fell upon my shoulders. Having been completely unaware that hardships of a huge magnitude may happen in life, I was crestfallen, as my family always let me live in my illusionary perfect dream world. Over time however, my paintings got deeper as my emotions went on a triple loop roller coaster!,” says Falguni.

She says, somehow, all her paintings began revolving around the concept of a home. “My root connects to culture and home, sometimes the modern home, sometimes my dream home!”

Well, as we have mentioned earlier, people now see the COVID-19 situation as an opportunity and so did Falguni. She said, “Meanwhile, the Covid-19 issue came up, giving me more time in my home and lost within the concept of home that I painted about. It is a blissful feeling for an artist, to be with her canvas and not many other callings.”

It is quite evident that the entire world is facing the pandemic and it is not same for everyone.

“But soon I realized my new privilege. While the Covid-19 issue is faced by the entire world, it’s not the same for each. The news flashed the migrants issue, and looking at the images made my heartache,” she said.

Falguni went on to say that “While I had been making paintings of homes and luxury, there were people who did not have luxurious homes, and yet are desperate enough to lose their lives to return to their homes. Their helplessness was heart-wrenching, all they could do is take what they have and move towards their home irrespective of the distance or the means, only relying on their feet and strength.”

And looking at the plight of migrant workers inspired the artist in Falguni to paint them and depict the scenes she saw on the news in her paintings. Falguni says, “This inspired me to paint them, or atleast my reflection of the scenes I saw on the news, while I was still in the comfort on my home. The more I painted them, the more I felt compelled to represent their struggles through my art.”

She believes that as privileged people, it is our duty to help these migrant workers in their times of need. She says, “My paintings may be a mean to tell their stories but I believe that they don’t need our pity, they need our help!”

Let’s have a look at a series of paintings depicting lives and plight of migrant workers through Falguni’s paintings.

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