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Look at the mirror

"Mirror", a collection of oils on canvas, make you contemplative


HE'S BEEN working on this series for the past one-and-a-half years. N. S. Nadhan's eighth solo exhibition, on at the Lalit Kala Akademi, is supposed to reflect society, human nature and the mind as Nadhan sees it. There are colours of deep contemplation — browns, greys, blacks and murky blues, and squiggles of bright colours seeming like flashes of inspiration in a dreary world. His latest series, titled "Mirror", takes a hard look at the world of progress, Nature and people, while trying to look beyond. His idea is that people are not what they seem and what they think they are — just as the mirror reflects only the superficial. His series delves deeper to understand their hopes, fears, aspirations and the meaning of life. He cuts through the outer confusion and turmoil in an attempt to get the viewers to look within to discover themselves and their true capacities.

Most of Nadhan's works have vague female figures in the distance in various positions of bondage, freedom, frustration and happiness. The transition he has made from the figurative to the abstract is clear, his strokes and shapes still have some of the preciseness of figurative art.

"Initially, I was interested only in still life. I still do at least one still life a week, especially commissioned work," says the Bangalore-based artist. "This work is part of my personal collection. They're my thoughts and reflections." Nadhan's creative process begins with poetry he writes in Malayalam. "After a point, I have to move to the canvas to release my thoughts. I want people to interpret my work as they please," says this former teacher, whose father was a sculptor in Kerala.

Nadhan's 25 oils on canvas — his preferred medium — are headed for Pondicherry, after which he will display his work at Mumbai. The paintings are on show till February 3 at Lalit Kala Akademi, Greams Road, Nungambakkam, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

SHALINI UMACHANDRAN

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