Acclaimed for her ability to recreate scenes of a highly emotional nature, this watercolor is another example of Anju Dodiya's brilliance. In this painting Dodiya unknowingly alludes to the Greek myth of Leda, the Queen of Sparta. According to the myth, Zeus disguised himself as a swan being pursued by an eagle and fell into the arms of Leda for protection.
At the time, Dodiya's works included strange and often fantasized props juxtaposed to create an almost surreal atmosphere in her 'rooms'. This painting includes a cylindrical column, which the artist later revealed as an inside joke on 'post-modern sculptures' that were being created in India during the early 90's. The artist drew inspiration from Japanese screens and Art Nouveau furnitures to populate the otherwise spartan space.
Central to this painting, is a girl whose face bears the determination and strength of a grown woman seated on a swan-like chair. As she finds herself caught in a strange Alice-in-Wonderland situation, the girl becomes more aware of her body and her need to be in control of it.
"While the artist does not deliberately focus on themes identified with women, the situations portrayed could perhaps be read as paradigms of the late 20th century dilemma of women: that of being caught in the slippage between the tensions of cliff-edged feminist freedom and the pushed into the background needs of emotional security. And while the tensions remain unacknowledged in the apparent pleasures afforded by colour, composition, juxtaposition and deployment of forms, it remains a tactic presence in eyes and faces of the women and their subliminal psychodramas, as feelings threaten to intensify in the context of complex, changing emotion."
(Kamla Kapoor, Anju Dodiya, Recent Paintings, "Holding the Mountain", exh. cat., Gallery Chemould, Mumbai, 1996.)