udhira Karna is associated with Janakpur Women’s Development Center(JWDC) and her paintings are rooted in traditions which Mithila women have passed down through generation. Sudhira Karna like other women from JWDC, under grant from the Ella Lyman Cabot Trust, learnt how to tranfer her wall designs to paper without losing her distinctive styles and developed skills in compostion as well as in use of color and line.
The artist’s pleasure in the development of a profession, and in new-found freedom to express themselves through painting, is reflected in the story she tells.
At first I was lucky. My parents could afford to send me to school. But unfortunately in eigth grade my father became ill. Then we did not have the money for school anymore.
I was already 25 when my parents arranged my marriage. For this they paid 75,000 rupees. My husband I met only after the marriage. When my husband died a few years later, my life became difficult. I did not have any money and I did not want to stay at the house of my in-laws since they were uneducated. I wanted my son to study. So I moved back to my parent’s house and started to work at the JWDC.
Because I work in the Center I can also support my family. I decide myself what to use the money for. So I have gained a lot of independence and my son is studying. After the death of my husband I felt so hopeless. My colleagues here helped me and I also found many new friends.
When I was young I learned painting from my grandmother and mother. They used to paint our house for rituals. My favorite paintings are about gods and goddesses. I specially like to paint the love story of Radha and Krishna and the wedding ceremony of Sita and Rama.
Till date, her work has been exhibited in the USA, UK , the federal republic of Germany, Australia and Belgium.