Tuesday, March 06, 2012

A worried look at nature

At ‘Confluence’, at the David Hall, Kochi, several artistes express their anxiety about life and economic developments

Photos: Work by Anto George; Sanam Narayanan's painting

By Shevlin Sebastian

Visual artist Anto George has placed paper-cut drawings of butterflies, all flying away from a central point. And at the middle, in bold black capital letters, are the words, 'They will fly away from the hell we create'. “We make a wonderful world in our imagination,” says Anto. “But to others, including nature, it might be a hell.” Anton has followed the Japanese origami style. This means, from a square sheet of paper, he has folded it a few times to make the butterflies.

Unlike Anto, K.V. Suvitha shows a gentle world. In her 'Earths and Clouds', an acrylic on canvas, there are different earths floating about, between white clouds. And the scenes on each planet are soothing. In one there is a series of hills, in another, there is a drawing of a house with a pointed red roof and in a third, ducks stand in a green field. The Thrissur-based Suvitha, who has worked in The Guild Art gallery in Mumbai, says, “Many believe that the earth can be defined by one image. I just wanted to show that there are many visuals when we talk about the planet.”

Upendranath has put up several scans of his own brain. It seems amusing, till the caption tells a stellar truth: ‘They scanned my brain, but could not figure out my multiple selves’. Deep down, he says, every person is a mystery to the other, no matter how close.

Sanam Narayanan's impressive charcoal and watercolour on paper is a picture of a few islands separated by the sea. The water looks still and tranquil. But on the islands, the trees have withered up, and there are occasional explosions, which is represented by gusts of bright red smoke.

“Yes, I am worried about the development that is taking place in the Vypeen Islands where I stay,” he says. “There is a loss of privacy and the people lack mental peace.” Above two islands is a bridge, resting on four cylindrical pillars. On flatbed trucks, Jesus Christ, Lords Shiva, Hanuman and Ganapati, and Buddha are being transported. “Nowadays, instead of relying on gods, people turn to guns for protection,” says Sanam.

Meanwhile, Bara Bhaskaran has been directly inspired by the eye-catching sculpture, 'Yakshi' made by artist Kanayi Kunhiraman at Mallampuzha. Bhaskaran has drawn, with pen and ink, a similar woman with full breasts and prominent nipples, her legs spread about and gazing skywards. “‘Yakshi’ is the female personification of nature,” he says. “She is beautiful, as well as dangerous. I also wanted to show the importance and relevance of Kunhiraman’s work.” Between the feet, is a curved, throbbing penis. “This is to represent Man,” he says, with a smile.

Sebastian Varghese has drawn a pond, which has pristine blue water, but there are a couple of pipes taking water away from it. At one side are abandoned machine parts, rusted springs and pipes, although a certain type of plant is growing over them. “Nature is cleaning up the mess,” says Sebastian.

(The New Indian Express, Kochi)

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