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Monday, Sep 22, 2003

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TASTE with colours


THIS MONTH, as city hotels geared up to celebrate Onam, each one tried to find something different to offer to the fastidious client. It had to be served up with garnishing anew. Hotel Renaissance, Kochi, picked up the gauntlet. It spruced up its surroundings, hurriedly improvised a gallery in its partly open-air restaurant and teamed up with five artists to display their works. On offer was a multitude of treats to sample from; savour the traditional cuisine, dance to live music and get initiated into the world of art. T. Kaladharan, C. S. Jayaram, P. V. Nandan, D. Binuraj and V. A. Satyan participated in the festival, aptly termed Rasaleela.

Says the hotel staff, "The event generated a lot of interest in art. A couple of paintings were sold and we have been getting a lot of inquiries about the displaying artists." In fact, so overwhelmed are the authorities that they are seeking recommendations regarding purchasing art works for their new properties. This bodes well for the artists of the State, as their works should find some serious buyers.


Noted artist Kaladharan is back with the bustle and energy that the flaming reds, yellows and greens lend to his typical medium of glass painting. Colour permeates every facet of his work and even as his later works have lost some of their frenzy, his romance with colour continues. The line drawing has become finer, colouring more efficient. Part of this is due to a change in his materials. The Windsor Newton paints have a different chromatic quality and the spray paint technique he uses gives it a distinct texture. Another well-known artist who is seeking to incorporate different elements in his style is C. S. Jayaram. On view are his landscapes done on a visit to Thekkady. Thick application of paint sets them apart from his newer, smaller series that are folk-art oriented. "I had Madhubani paintings in mind when I started on this series. But the attempt is to showcase the flowers and vegetation that is typical of the State. Artists are inclined to portray pain and misery but sometimes it is soothing to follow a simple theme," says Jayaram.

P. V. Nandan has brought to the show a string of watercolours that show an unruffled, tranquil Kochi going about its business. Ships berthed along the harbour; fishermen counting their catch, all done sans the humdrum that are associated with these areas.

Satyan's hunting series done in serigraphy are complex and the viewer has to tease out the figures from a busy composition. Binuraj's bright palette is appealing.

SUNANDA KHANNA

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