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Breathing art

Works of a group of student artists are on display at the Culture Centre


IT'S BEEN more than six months since the Kasthuri Sreenivasan Trust (KST) hosted an art show. The long wait is worth it.

"In the beginning", a group show put together by eight students from the College of Fine Arts, Chennai, is now showing at the Culture Centre of the KST.

The exhibition stands out for its youthful exuberance and attention to detail. The works of Antony Raj, Ganesh, Jeya Prakash, Karthikeyan, Mathavan, Muthusamy, Rajesh and Singara Vadivel are on display till Tuesday evening. This being their maiden show, the boys have tried to offer a bit of everything they are capable of. So, you have some paintings depicting still life, some set in the countryside and some others in oil and acrylic.

More than a 100 works are on display, but the watercolours stand out because of their sheer brilliance.

Village vistas

Muthusamy's spread work watercolours are impressive. The colours spread and merge so effortlessly in his paintings, creating a hazy effect. He achieves it by first applying a coat of water on paper before filling in the colours on the still-wet paper. Hailing from the countryside, he draws most of his inspiration from rice fields, tree-lined pathways and temples.


He looks the typical artist and allows his work to speak. His friends have to prod him to speak about his technique. They are also his most vocal admirers. "He is the best among us," they state happily.

Madhavan's works are eye-catching too.

Their friendly banter provides the perfect setting as you walk through the exhibition. Karthikayan is the only city-bred in the group. And, he gets mercilessly teased for that. "You'll see only beaches in his works," his friends say. Two of the students dropped out from regular college to pursue their passion for art. "We do get scolded at home, but take it in the right spirit," they say.

The boys have borrowed money to fund the framing of their works and their trip to Coimbatore. "We've priced our works very reasonably (starting at Rs. 25 for a self-portrait done in 10 minutes), because all we want to do is get more people to buy our works," they say.

Ganesh's works feature the elephant god, one of which has been done in the Tanjore style.

Rajesh, a native of Kumbakonam, has translated his anguish about dilapidated buildings onto paper with a flourish. "These are things that have greatly disturbed me. I cannot do anything to preserve these buildings in reality. I can only do that through my works," he states.

Do they think art will help them earn a living? "Yes. That's what keeps us going," they chorus.

SUBHA J RAO

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