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Guns n' Roses


THE KARGIL War left young Kajal Charankatt devastated. She had lost her classmate and confidant, Lt Anup Kumar on the battlefield and try as she might the wounds wouldn't heal. In her debut solo exhibition the phantoms of the past continue to haunt even as she makes a determined bid to spread the message of peace.

In a unique display of sorts, canvases hung from branches of trees, or merely resting against upturned benches beckon the passer by to interact with them and communicate through their much idiosyncratic pictorial language.


During breaks between classes, students could be seen ambling through the College Centre Circle in Maharaja's College campus; and the setting seemed ideal to influence young minds against the tyranny of war and the misery that it perpetuates.

Kajal is aggressive in tackling the theme of conflicts. The protagonist uses dark, foreboding colours to portray the feeling of dread that engulfs a family as it finds itself in the centre of action. Fear is writ large on every face as a young mother, unable to endure the deafening sounds of mortar firing, flees the scene with her children just as the tanks roll in. Nothing can douse the fires of the horrors that she battles within. Elsewhere, nameless heroes, dressed in army fatigues walk past skulls that are insolently strewn around; the artist takes on the case of the army man as a hero as he protectively guides a child out of the arena of war.


Even as she creates the colours of war, Kajal's treatment of her subject matter is rudimentary and undeveloped. Instead her watercolours, where she paints wildlife, especially her portrayals of elephants, shows promise. As do her series of portraits of women and children. Kajal has done her masters in political science and is now pursuing fine arts at a college in Tripunithra. .

SUNANDA KHANNA

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