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Thursday, Feb 19, 2004

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Where ideas flourish

Leave behind the bustle of the city and step into a serene world of art at P. S. Govind Rao's Kamala Gallery in Nandanam


SHIELDED FROM the dissonance that engulfs Chennai's principal road, the Kamala Gallery of Arts has virtually been a secret retreat of calm and solitude to those fortunate few who have been aware of its existence. Located on the ninth floor of one of Anna Salai's distinctively designed buildings this haven is perched high up, away from the mundane goings-on of the bustling metropolis beneath.

Tastefully styled with period furniture and traditional Indian matting, the serene ambience is accentuated by the paintings that adorn the walls. All the paintings are by P. S. Govind Rao, an architect by profession and an artist by passion. Ensconced within the glass walls are arts that enthuse him — painting, architecture and horticulture.

Where one talent concludes and the other commences is indistinguishable for his versatility in expression allows for these multifarious forms to flourish in harmony. Scale models of architectural concepts are displayed within, while several bonsai plants dot a terrace that allows a breathtaking view of the sprawling city.

The devotedly detailed illustrative style of Govind Rao's paintings reveals his relationship with the highly structured art form that is architecture.

Schooled in fine arts at the College of Arts, Hyderabad, he sustained his interest in painting even while being committed to another career.

Beginning with oil and watercolour paintings in his student days, he later moved to working with mixed media taking up pencil, dry pastel and wash simultaneously to create the subtle yet luminous airiness that is so characteristic of his works.

Female forms and depictions of nature dominate his paintings. Created in the memory of his late wife and located right in the heart of the city, this multi-functional space is well worth a visit even if only to take a short break from the cacophony of the urbanity that surrounds us. The gallery is situated at Temple Tower, 672 Anna Salai, Nandanam and can be reached on 24359004.

SWAPNA SATHISH

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