Sacred Hearth: Aepan, Painted Prayers to Himalayan Deities

March 18 to May 18, 2008

Aepan—ritual designs finger-drawn in ocher mud and white rice paste on thresholds, courtyards, and floors—are used in worship of a particular god or goddess, special ceremonies, and religious festivals in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand. Artists freely incorporate into their aepan the landscape of the upper and lower Himalayas, including flowers, leaves and vines, grains, rivers, and the mountain ranges, to ornament the central symbolic and figurative motifs. The nineteen works in this exhibition are from the collection of Prema and William Popkin. The exhibition is organized by Judy Stubbs, the IU Art Museum’s Pamela Buell Curator of Asian Art, and is guest curated by Prema Popkin and Kathleen Connors. This exhibition and related programs are made possible by funds from the India Studies Program, the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs, IU Art Museum’s Arc Fund, and the Thomas T. Solley Endowed Fund for the Curator of Asian Art.

Image: Purnima Shah. Three Mothers Goddesses with Ganesh (Teen Matrikas). Paint on yellow paper. Collection of Prema and William Popkin