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'Cast' a spell

Shrushti's exhibition of metal carvings showcases the craft skills of the past


THE FROZEN music of South Indian bronzes come to life at Shrushti's exhibition-cum-sale of bronze and brass icons, which combine classicism, concept and craftsmanship in every piece on display. Crafted and conceptualised by master craftsperson and National Award winner Rathakrishnan, the range of icons include gods and goddesses depicted in traditional compositions with some stunning reproductions of rare museum pieces. The Chola style of iconography dominates with a few delightful compositions done in the Hoysala style as well.

Natarajas in graceful cosmic dance, Radha Krishna in Ras Leela, the many moods of Ganesha, Parvathi, Lakshmi and Saraswathi and a host of `apsaras' cast a spell at the exhibition. The Chola style of iconography dominates with a few delightful compositions done in the Hoysala style as well.

The large Natarajas in both bronze and moulded brass are outstanding in their beauty and harmony as are a host of exquisite Krishnas and royal Chola women carved in the minimal sculpting language of the Chola craft idiom. Among the stunning pieces of apsaras is a `Veena Apsara' languidly reclining on a veena while contemplating a parrot perched on her hand.


Other compelling pieces include Rama, Sita, Lakshmana and Hanuman executed in the pristine purity of Chola iconography and Ardhanareshwar as well as an incredible depiction of Vishnu being subdued by Shiva wearing the face of a lion, the body of a yaali, a pair of wings and holding a snake, a mace, a deer and agni in his four hands... The master craftsperson's touch can also be seen in the many small and beautiful items on display, ranging from jewel-like door-knobs and wall hangings, to other brass bric-a-brac. Crafts from other parts of Tamil Nadu are also on view. And yes, Ganesha compels attention in more than a hundred ways, in all shapes and sizes and in bronze, brass and other mediums.

`Shrushti' is Tamil Nadu's first cooperative of artisans who bring their work directly to the venue.

The crafts exhibition is on till September 5, at Shrushti, TTK Road (Next to Sri Sankara Hall), Alwarpet.

PUSHPA CHARI

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