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A child's colourful mind


IT'S A hot and humid day. Inside the confines of Durbar Hall Art Centre, a young boy beats the heat by playfully rolling on the floor, attempting a couple of cartwheels, giggling at onlookers who point out, "He's Vishnu."

Back home in Velukkara he doesn't reach for the remote or the computer game to pass his time; instead it's the easel and paints that he pulls out. The boy in question is all of seven years old and hosting his nth exhibition, this time at the city's premier gallery. When asked how many of his pictures were on display, he races through the gallery as his young mind tries to keep track of the numbers.

His father, Amrendran Kuttikkad, a carpenter by profession is modest and unpretentious. He makes no bones of his inability to understand art or even recognise talent when there is one. But once the teacher pointed out that Vishnu was gifted, Mr. Kuttikkad ensured that the young boy was never out of paints or paper.

With 84 of his 400 paintings mounted on the walls, the gallery is a riot of colours. Vishnu has a penchant for colours and this is in evidence in all his pictures. There's a predetermined gradation of colours in his canvases, which helps bring a certain amount of unity in his childlike compositions.


Broad bands of paint flow; these are sometimes permeated with interesting textures that Vishnu manages by simple alterations in brush strokes.

His paintings are devoid of figures or landscapes or even cursory symbols. Indeed the focus and subject is the celebration of colour. Armed with this proclivity, he would do well by honing his skills in line drawing.

Awards have come readily to this young boy. His talent was first noticed when his picture appeared in the cover of `Gramajalakatthu,' published by the Velukkara Samskarika Samithy. In 2001, he received the Child Artist award instituted by the Education Department and the Chitra Kalakendra. He held a solo exhibition at the Kerala Lalithkala Akademi in Thrissur. At five years of age, Vishnu posted his pictures on the Internet and was one of the first artists in his age group to be an online award winner.

Vishnu is a second standard student of Amrita Vidyalayam, in Kodungallur.

S. K

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