Rejuvenating Ancient Arts of South India or RAASI Art Foundation's Sixth Annual Art Show, which opens today, features a spectacular collection of kalamkari art, Mysore and Thanjavur paintings and the murals of Kerala. Each frame, is a melange of exuberant colours and irrepressible charm.
While dealing with traditional themes from the epics, the kalamkari pieces bring a wondrous combination of hue and form. The themes are endless, and through each run the thread of brilliant craftsmanship and concept. A `tree of life' softly glowing with gem-like colours is one among many outstanding pieces.
The Thanjavur art section casts a spell with its glittering gem-encrusted imagery of icons: Lakshmi, Saraswati, Parvati, Rama and Krishna apart from other gods and goddesses. A variety of themes and the intricacy are a feast for the eyes.
The smaller frames are jewel-like in their presentation. The Mysore paintings have softer, more subdued colouring and their beauty lies in the minutest lines each stroke has meaning, each petal in the rose garland is perfection defined. Again, the themes are drawn from Ramayana and Mahabharata. The Kerala murals are painted in the five colours of yellow ochre, Indian red, indigo, green and black. These resplendent paintings are characterised by human beings and gods with stylised, facial expressions, elongated lips, painted wide-open eyes and brilliant ornamentation. The exhibition offers many frames of this newly `discovered' art form. RAASI's show is on at 1 Anna Avenue, Bhaktavatsalam Nagar, Adyar till September 17.
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