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Representing Nature


AFTER A spate of painting exhibitions mounted on the walls of city galleries, C. G. Pramod's exhibition of sculptures, one of which actually hangs from the ceiling, comes as a welcome break. Pramod doesn't believe in the traditional showcasing of sculpture— on a pedestal. Instead he lays them down; objects d'art lie scattered in various parts of the gallery, the viewer might stumble on one or two even in the veranda. The guests walk around them, bend, squat and interact with the sculptor's works. There aren't too many of them, but they are large and involuntarily they warrant your interest. Even as he is experimental in his forms of display, Pramod's themes and techniques are long established and conventional. Nature is the core element in his persona; it must have to do with living in verdant Kerala amidst swaying palms and a diverse wildlife. Birds, fish and rain are the most striking symbols of nature and they kindle the artist's interest. In A Growing Plant the artist emphasises that nothing, not even the cage that surrounds it, can stunt the growth of a plant. Man, on the other hand, is constantly hemmed in by his own suspicions and mindsets. The most arresting however is Mazhakonduvarunna Pakshi, A Bird That Brings Rain. Mystics say this particular bird is the harbinger of good times, bringing prosperity to the inhabitants of this land. The artist makes a fervent appeal to allow birds and animals to live undisturbed in their natural surroundings and not fragment their habitat. Our ecosystem, he says is large enough to accommodate the various species that abound here. These visual concepts find stimulation from his own life experiences and this inter-relationship between man and nature is the fundamental theme of all his works. Pramod uses paper mache or pulp as his medium and finds it light and malleable, easy to transport and relatively low on cost.


T.S Prasad's works show up references to the reality around him. Fading Light is a metaphor for the insecurities that surround the common man of the state. On another canvas, Nilavilikalkkulli, he surrounds a Raja Ravi Varma portrait with life situations of today. The contrast is both poignant as well as arresting. Both exhibitions were held at the Durbar Hall Gallery.

SUNANDA KHANNA

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