A story in every stroke

By Sudha Kumar
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Mittu with her parents and Hon. Victor Dominello

Mittu Gopalan painting exhibition at Brush Farm House is a collection of her personal experiences

In November, the historic Brush Farm House at Ryde hosted many a brushstroke from Mittu Gopalan, an enthusiastic community member of Ryde, NSW, and a very successful solicitor, a Principal at Freedman and Gopalan Solicitors.

‘Mittu’s Art Exhibition’ was inaugurated by Hon Minister Victor Dominello (MP), and felicitated by Counsel General of India Mr B Vanlalvawana.

Mittu, who is from Kerala, India, landed on Australian shores in 1993 as a young bride to Manoj Gopalan. In her luggage was all that was needed to start life anew, and nested deep within was a passion, a talent, that she held close to her soul.

Hon. Victor Dominello, Mittu and Counsel Gen. Mr. B Vanlalvawna

Born with a gift, Mittu’s parents recognised and nurtured the talent she was blessed with. A gift that got her expressing in strokes and colours from the very tender age of six. Mittu went on to win numerous competitions throughout her school and college life. And thus she has this great collection of artwork from various stages of her life, which she put on display at Brush Farm House.

“Painting adds colour to life,” says Mittu. And how.

Artists are creators. They create as they tug on their feelings and emotions and lay bare their expressions. The most powerful works of art spring from anguish or sorrow. And so it was with Mittu, when as a young adult, poised to embark upon the adventure of life she had to part ways with her closest friends of 14 years. The first experience of separation was expressed as ‘The Tear of an Angel’ in six hours straight!

It was a seminal moment. And there was no looking back.

Soon followed ‘Motherhood’, an expression of deep and intense yearning of the feminine, which led on to a series that celebrated ‘Womanhood’.

But life is a fine balance, and as Mittu pursued her studies to become a solicitor, and immersed herself in the joys of family life with her husband and two beautiful daughters, and a very successful career, she still found enough time and energy to nurture her passion.

Mittu with her teacher Wendy Lenehan

She attended art classes at the Macquarie Community College. Her teacher Wendy Lenehan was spellbound as she saw what was on display. “Mittu always followed her heart and I could see the anguish in her work,” she says.. Seasoned and tempered with life’s rich experiences she expressed ‘Tranquillity’ in the Buddha, the smile of which speaks more than words ever could.

As an artist who has a deep connection with her expressions on canvas, as she does with people, Mittu fosters an emotional bond with each of them. There is a story behind every painting and each of them is done with love. Mittu painted her pain of loss with ‘Long overdue’ and, ‘Dedicated to Rebecca’ when she lost two people dear to her. In fact, the latter was created as the funeral was happening!

Art indeed springs from deep anguish.

Mittu’s body of work covers subjects of womanhood, nature, abstracts, and impressionism using the mediums of oil, water colour, acrylic and resin. Colour is at the centre of Mittu’s expressions. She relates to colours, thinks with reference to colours and therefore expresses with colours.

“Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain one as an adult,” she says. But clearly, Mittu has found a way.

 

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