Snapshots from a divine world
Three artists explore the world of the divine through their sculptures and paintings
GOD AND ME: V S D Arularasan's works portray his quest for the divine. Photo: S. Siva Saravanan
The concept of divine and divinity is personal and holds diverse meanings for different people. Three artists try to comprehend and interpret the divine through an array of works being displayed at the Kasthuri Sreenivasan Trust Culture Centre on Avanashi Road.
Part of a week-long exhibition, it features works on copper plates and oil and acrylic paintings by V S D Arularasan, Sivaramakrishanan P and Ravi B R.
"The exhibits are expressions of what we believe is the `divine' and are often drawn from our experiences," says Arularasan, who is showing his paintings and experimental creations.
Arularasan's two colleagues at the Government College of Fine Arts, Kumbakonam, have etched portraits on copper plates, a hitherto less attempted and difficult art form, where the artists have to work on both sides of the plate. A single mistake means a work ruined.
The portraits range from the enduring symbol of love and compassion, Mother Teresa, to spiritual teachers like Ramana Maharishi and Sivananda Saraswathi and poet Rabindranath Tagore.
Sculptures of Mother Teresa adorn most of the walls, and Arularasan says: "For most of us, she represents the ultimate symbol of sacrifice, and is hence divine."
The copper sculpture of a cock, which won the Tamil Nadu State Oviya Nunkalaikuzhu award in 2000, is also on display here.
Certain exemplary creations, like that of a bull carved out of a single sheet of copper, are worth having a look at.
Arularasan's paintings reflect his own personal quest for the `divine'. "These paintings stand out for their simplicity. Earlier, my works used to be a lot more experimental. And, often, the viewers got stuck with the technique involved and not the idea."
Thus, he decided to give thrust to his ideas, thoughts and feelings rather than experiment with technique.
The paintings, at times a dialogue with the Almighty, are also a commentary on the contemporary society's treatment of the spiritual.
The painting, God insulted, shows a temple sanctum sanctorum under lock and key. The sealed temple hundi is also highlighted in the work. "God is all pervasive and we commit the blunder of locking him up," says the painter.
The innermost struggles of an artist also find expression in the works on display. While Ravi has carved the image of his late father on copper plates, one of Arularasan's paintings emphasises the need to accept death, even when it involves a dear one, as an inevitable part of nature's cycle.
"Divinity lies in the acceptance of divine actions," he says.
Even though the thrust is on simplicity, certain experimental creations like three-dimensional paintings of Jaggi Vasudev and Osho, also find a place in the gallery.
Curtains come down on this exhibition, open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., on May 12. All the works are for sale. For details, call 0422-2574110.
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