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Different strokes

Two shows in the city bring to the fore various painting techniques


IT'S THE gallery's first exhibition and on display at Shrishty are 30 paintings by 16 Kerala-based artists. Kerala Kalakkar is a group of artists for whom painting is a hobby they're passionate about. The artists hold other jobs but paint and display their work on the side.

"We formed a group so that we can split the expenses as well as the work of organising and co-ordinating among ourselves," says Beena Unnikrishnan from Kollam, who runs Shrishty. Her preferred medium is oil on canvas and she says her inspiration is her writing. "I write down my thoughts, feelings and ideas. Sometimes they're fleeting thoughts that need to be jotted down before I forget them, then I start painting," she says.

T.A. Mani's "Panchali Puram" shows everyday trade in an imagined village. Sreekamal K. Raj's work is cheerful and intelligent while Govindan Kannapuram's "Vision of Power" is done in autumn and straw shades. Everest Raj's oils dominate the walls with willowy figures that seem to melt into the background. Though Nature and women form the base of his theme, his paintings of a fiery-looking Kathakali face and a Ganesha are arresting. During the 10-day exhibition, Everest Raj will be at the gallery demonstrating painting techniques as well as caricatures for visitors.

The exhibition is on till April 15, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., at Shrishty Art Gallery, D1, Sulaiman Zackria Avenue, Off Casa Major Road, Egmore, ph: 28193002.

Is black back?

IT'S TITLED "The Black Revolution" and according to artist Kaamar's brochure, it's supposed to distract one even at the first glance. While we're still not sure what the brochure means (maybe Kaamar wrote it "during darkest midnight", the time he says he "made" his paintings), the work is rather striking though monotonously themed.

The artist uses bright greens, blues, oranges, reds and pinks against stark black backgrounds. The figures are women with palm frond-like hair flopping all over the place. (Kaamar could try selling his paintings for hair-colour ads).

While some of the canvases are rather uninviting, others would feel perfectly at home in a way-out nightclub in Manhattan or on the wall of a fifteenth-floor studio apartment owned and furnished by a recluse.

The Black Revolution is on till April 15 at La Gallerie de Expression, The Ambassador Pallava Hotel, 30, Montieth Road, Egmore, ph: 28554476.

SHALINI UMACHANDRAN

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