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KOCHI: Artist Radha Gomaty’s recent series “Alexa Win This War!” with 87 + 1 drawings has between its folds all the thoughts and experiences of Radha at different stages of her life. “In 2018, I came across a primitive memo app. It was a very old model. But it gave me a way to draw quickly and release my anxiety, ”explains the artist. She uses her thumb and fingers to draw surreal pictures that, when put together, tell a bigger story.

“When I drew the frame for the title of Alexa Win This War !, I was afraid to look at it. It looked too dark. I sent it to some of my friends, to see if they feel it too, ”says Radha. Alexa is a character in a story imagined by Radha – a strange sex slave in science fiction. She is at a point of taking revenge on the greedy general by castration. While Radha felt comfortable with her character, Alexa became the star of the series.

In 2020, during lockdown, digital drawings became a lifeline for Radha. She had the impression that the people around her were becoming spies, armed with a telephone. So, with her fingers, she created stories and poems. The designs of Christ came with hope with the two Mariams. Crying brides striving to protect their family honor and everyday women’s stories formed the mighty queues.

“Many have told me that the drawing, in fact, he likes me a lot, looks like me,” adds Radha. A woman in a nightgown stands in the dark with a badly bruised face, reluctant to admit that she is being abused, still claiming that it is love. The drawings of brides are shocking, not because they are provocative, but they have been placed in the context of several dowry-related deaths, murders and suicides.

“I went to the hospital with a minor girl – victim of several cases of abuse – as a spectator during her delivery. Her family was in quarantine and could not make it to the hospital. Surprisingly, many people, including neighbors, wondered if the man who abused her was going to marry her. This may seem normal in many societies, and this is where we are, ”says Radha. The young girl and her fate prompted her to do many more plays.

However, not all of his designs are gloomy. There is an intense love in some, like that of passionate lovers who meet under the moon and find comfort in each other’s arms. Or like the Christ who brings hope and salvation or the Nayikas brave enough to love themselves, and in turn accept the love of those they desire.


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