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In pursuit of art

SUBHA J RAOSUBHA J RAO

Nature, people and emotions are celebrated in the Chitrakala Academy's annual art show

Pics: K. Ananthan.

Wonders on canvas.

VARIETY FARE. That's the 27th annual art exhibition of the Chitrakala Academy for you.

Twenty-five artists have got together to produce a body of work that stands out for its varied use of colours and media. And, their inspiration - everything from the sparkling cataracts in the Nilgiris to the tsunami to India's villages to dusk.

Participants at the expo, on at the Kasthuri Sreenivasan Art Gallery on Avinashi Road till today, include teachers, professional painters, a manufacturer of textile spares and rookie students who have got together to promote art in the city.

Impressive works

Many of the artists have experimented with style in their works, done especially for the show.

Some of the impressive ones include Raviraj's `Life', a mixed media work that details the eight cycles of man.


He has worked inside circular teak frames to portray birth, death, youth, old age, how man slogs to earn money and what he gets in return.

His `Movement', featuring a group of boys engaged in a group activity, draws your attention by its sheer energy.

It's hard to find someone not affected by the tsunami. And, artists being artists, they have chosen to represent it differently. K. Muralidharan's air gun work - `III dimension' is a case in point.

As a young boy plays on the seashore, his back to the raging sea (portrayed as a monster), a face looks on sadly from the sky above. What happened to the boy? No one knows.

V. Chandrasekar addresses human craving in his relief work - `Desire'.

Using a mixture of chalk powder and fevicol, it conveys what it sets out to do.

Rajesh's take on `The Well' (the inspiration was a old photograph) bubbles with life though there is no human around.

The ageing wooden raft and the strung pot resting on the rim lend it a realistic touch. His other work, on the Tandav, is subtle, with focus on the swift movements; not the face.

Mukesh, a photographer based in the Nilgiris, has chosen to depict the verdant surroundings in his hometown and those who people it.

So, you get to see snatches of nature and the life of the Badugas in his works, some of which are framed in coffee wood for a natural look.

Swetha Bandari's `Flashback', an acrylic on paper on all things forgotten, also impresses. Santhosh, a student of the College of Fine Arts, Chennai, has brought in his pastel works and a watercolour featuring an old lady sitting in a park.

Love for art

What brings all these people together is the love of art. Which is why this exhibition is so special. For Raju, the owner of a unit manufacturing textile spares, art is freedom. For some, it is the only thing they know. Some others have quite regular jobs to take up art full-time. They hope such exhibitions will help popularise art in Coimbatore, "where people are still not very inclined to invest in art."

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