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Eloquent metals

Raviram speaks through his sculptures



Raviram: charting his own course — Photo: K. Gopinathan

"HE HEARS with his mind and speaks with his hands," says the pamphlet on the Chennai-based sculptor, Raviram. The artist, who can neither hear nor speak, communicates eloquently through gestures, and of course, his works.

Raviram, who was never interested in academics, was always fascinated by the resonance of tinkling metal. His uncle, P.V. Janakiraman, a well-known sculptor, took him under his fold and put him through the grind. Besides teaching him the technical aspects of sculpting, Janakiraman moulded his young student's visual and artistic sensibility as well.

Raviram has held one-man shows in his home town and Coimbatore. But the sculptor thinks that the response to his solo exhibition titled Meditative Mood, which concluded at the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat recently, is more encouraging.

Despite the somewhat repetitive form and structure of the 45-odd brass and copper pieces put on show, the viewer could comprehend a sense of balance, proportion, and meticulous craftsmanship in Raviram's work. Also in evidence was a charming excitement in the way the deities and mythological figures were depicted. Their actions were often seen in the celebratory mode, as in the two Sarabeshwara pieces. The slaying of the fierce demon by Narasimha was depicted with verve and energy, while the Devi was rendered dynamic by the ferocious tiger she is seen riding. In a contrastingly sober mood, Lord Ranganatha was delicately poised in the classical reclining posture.

Expectedly, Ganesha was represented in several postures — standing, sitting, and even dancing. More absorbing pieces included Varaha, Krishna in the Kalinganarthana episode, and Madapuram Mariamma with a horse. Ekapada Murthy, an image that integrated the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheswara, was also rendered powerfully.

Raviram, for now, seems to be following the formal lines. But given the structural solidity and technical finesse in several works, one feels that he can outgrow these limitations.

ATHREYA

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