CLAIRE PHILLIPS

Contemporary Portrait Artist


 

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Deepika

100 x 150 cm
oil on canvas

Deepika is one of 30 girls attending a school in Uttar Pradesh. The school takes the poorest villagers, most vulnerable to traffickers, and educates them not only in academic subjects, but also in social issues such as gender equality, child marriage, the caste system and the importance of education.

These little girls have not had to suffer the trauma of trafficking and domestic slavery but if left in their villages they could be targeted. I had no translator, but through drawing, dance and sign language I managed to communicate and was able to join in their games and their schooling!

Their love of drawing was very clear as they asked again and again for more time for art and more paper to draw on, in school, after school and after their evening meal when they should have been doing their homework! Even before the generator was switched on after sundown they would be sitting drawing in the dark.