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Glimpses of a holistic experience

People could watch art come alive at the art camp organised by the State Bank of India. Works of 16 artists, who participated in this camp, will be displayed at the different branches of the bank. RADHIKA RAJAMANI reports.



FIGURATIVE ART: Kavita Deuskar mixes colours.

AN ART camp serves as a platform for interaction among artists. It also helps students of art and lay people to witness the process of art -- the creative thinking of an artist and the final product as it takes shape from a few strokes and lines and dab of colour. For many, art is highbrow - beyond the realm of understanding of the common man. But in an art camp artists personally explain the creative process and to a certain extent art is `demystified'. Thereby, awareness increases. Also, artists who normally work in isolation at their own pace, work amidst fellow artists in a specified time frame at a camp. The process of dialogue and discussion helps the artists in evolving their own works as well. The week-long art camp sponsored by the State Bank of India in the premises of its local head office at Bank Street, Koti provided glimpses of artists' oeuvres and their thought processes as well. It is perhaps for the first time that a nationalised bank has been involved in such a venture.

For a week, the temporary tent at the rear end of the office complex was a den of creativity bustling with activity. It was the temporary atelier of the artists. About 16 local artists gave vent to their artistic concepts and images. For the artist fraternity it may have been just another camp but for the individuals who visited it was a `holistic' experience of art. For those familiar with the artists' works, there was nothing `new' as the artists basically stuck to their styles of painting. The visual vocabulary ranged from the abstract to the figurative on canvas in acrylics, egg tempera and mixed media. Barring D.L.N. Reddy, T. Vaikuntam, Gourishanker, Kavita Deuskar and perhaps Shyam Sunder and Bairu Raghuram, the rest of the artists were the younger lot namely A. Rajeshwara Rao, J. Srinivasachari, Sisir Sahana, Srinivas Reddy, Sudhakar Chippa, Fawad Tamkanat, Srikanth Kurva, L.N.V. Srinivas, Stanley Suresh and Aasha Radhika. Since some of the artists were working till the end their works were under completion.

Photos: K. Ramesh Babu

DRAWING SKILL: Bairu Raghuram immersed in his work.

T. Vaikuntam's `signature' style of Telangana women was vivid. Earthy, bucolic, yet endowed with a native charm, his women are `resplendent' in their bright hues. Gouri Shankar's abstract canvases in a way describe the urban clutter n bright colours. For they reflect the effects of modernisation in the haphazard growth of the city. Not an inch of space is left on the canvas as is perhaps indicative of the development of the city. Kavita Deuskar `figurative portrait' in her trademark style is imbued with a rustic charm, the only addition being perhaps a bit of more colour like orange. Shyam Sunder's landscape - rows of trees with flashes of orange in between against a black-blue sky is compelling on account of the colour scheme and composition. Bairu Raghuram presents a drawing of a rural imagery - a woman replete with traditional jewellery with the cock standing against a door (perhaps on the doorstep of the house) with another hut in the background.

Sisir Sahana, who now specialises in glass `sculptures', proves that he is a painter first. Concerned with the problem of rural migration to urban areas, he depicts this geo-social reality - the transformation in the two halves of the canvas. While the bottom half shows the farmers with the sickle and hoe, the upper shows the metamorphosis (read urbanisation) setting in through the construction worker carrying material on his head. Nature is a silent spectator in this `disfigurement' process. Fawad Tamkanat's mixed media work using rice paper has blocks of abstract geometric motifs like a window with old vestiges - like jars. Another artist working in mixed media is Sudhakar Chippa. His style now includes usage of newspaper print along with wood and paint. His characters in the alliance (based on matrimonial advertisements in newspapers) - a male and female have a dreamy-like quality juxtaposed as the images are with others like tree, house and boat. Rajeshwara Rao, in his journey to paint the `goddess' series, continues with his glass and acrylic technique but the content is more `abstract' and `allegorical'.

L.N.V. Srinivas is the other abstract artist whose canvas is awash with simple, lucid yet subtle strokes which create a landscape Srinivasachari and his protégé Aasha Radhika are the only two artists working in egg tempera, Srinivasachari is perhaps the only artist who has envisaged something related to banking considering that this camp is organised by the bank. Human `silhouettes' against blocks give a vague idea of the origin and domination of currency - coins and notes. Aasha Radhika is more or less following the master as far as the technique is concerned but her subject matter is certainly different. Not so conceptual like Srinivasachari, Aasha resorts to simple images of women. Sreekanth Kurva's preoccupation with animals, graffiti and date palm tree is well manifested in his work which gives the impression of a `prehistoric' painting with a modern touch. Stanley Suresh's typical work represented a semi-nude woman amidst flowers.

The only sculptor of the show besides the potter is Srinivas Reddy. He presented a series of his characteristic heads with various expressions. Quite a few bank employees pottered about the wheel getting a first hand experience of its functioning.

Photo: K. Ramesh Babu

COLOURFUL CANVAS: Sreekanth Kurva's images.

The paintings after a two-display will adorn the walls of the various branches of the bank in the twin cities.

``The art camp is one of the many social activities of the bank. It provided an opportunity to people to see art come alive,'' said the Chief General Manager S.K. Bhattacharya. The camp was well organised in terms of infrastructure. Most of the artists were happy that such ventures helped in encouraging art and promoting awareness. To what extent it is so is anybody's guess.

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