The paintings of Kumud Sarma, a contemporary expression of Indian spirituality
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The thesis examines selected paintings of a prominent female Indian artist and educator from the state of Bihar, in the context of "art and religion" problematics. Kumud Sarma (1926-1996) paints the lives of the most marginalized and under-privileged members of her society, including day-labourers, servants, tribal people and prostitutes. As a socially-engaged artist, Sarma uses her canvases to comment on problems of human relations, social justice and women's issues. Her active concern with social issues is a reflection of her philosophy that the creative process requires a spiritual foundation or, in her words, "purity of heart." In this sense, her paintings can be explored as a contemporary expression of Indian spirituality.