Photos: Work by Anandaraman; NN Rimzon's charcoal drawing and Narayanan Mohanan's 'The Other 99 Percent'. Pics by Melton Antony
“The horse is crossing a fractured nation,” he says. “And even though the land has been partitioned, the heart beats the same for both places. I am not hinting at the India-Pakistan partition of 1947. I am talking about how nations come into being and the existence of borders everywhere. We also create borders within our minds.”
At the right side, there are several flying birds like eagles, pigeons, crows and sparrows. “There are two types of nations: ethnic and civic,” says Anandaraman. “In ethnic nations, there is one ethnicity, like in Japan or China. But in countries like India, there are all types of ethnicities that comprise a single nation. That is what I wanted to represent through the different types of birds.”
A little further down is NN Rimzon's simple charcoal drawing of two tiled roof houses next to each other, with an overhanging tree. It seems like any ordinary house, till Rimzon says it is the house of one of Kerala's greatest poets N Kumara Asan (1873-1924). “The house has been preserved at Thonnakkal (near Thiruvananthapuram),” he says. “It was the place where Asan used to write his poems. His vision and social commitment are qualities to be admired.”
Another work which can be admired is Babu KG's 6' x 5' oil on canvas. It shows a young girl standing in thick foliage, and staring with unblinking intensity at a butterfly which is peering into a flower. He got the inspiration for this work when, one day, while walking in Wayanad, with members of the Adivasi community, he saw a girl looking at a butterfly.
Babu was struck by her innocence. “I have noticed that people who live in the forests and have close contact with Nature have a heightened sense of innocence as well as divinity,” he says. “In the cities, the people become mechanical and hard-hearted. So, I wanted to show the innocence of the girl and the rich biodiversity of the forests.”
Meanwhile, right at the centre of the hall, on the floor, is a 3' high black bell, made of foam, with a hook on top. There are several black, white and brown rats which are running away from the bell. This work, by Narayanan Mohanan, is called, 'The Other 99 Percent'. It has been inspired by the Aesop's Fable of 'Who will bell the cat?'
Meanwhile, after handling the huge task of setting up and running the Kochi Biennale, Founder Bose Krishnamachari has now done a work called 'Stretched Bodies'. “Since the medium used was acrylic, it dries off very fast, so I had to create a work with rigour and energy, pleasure and passion, freshness and warmth,” says Bose. “The aim is to reflect optimism. So, it is full of colours, and psychedelic textures.”
The show was curated by O Sundar, who, along with a group of fellow artists and art lovers, set up the Cochin Artcube last year. “There are artists who were finding it difficult to showcase their works, so we wanted to give opportunities to them,” he says. “That's how we set up this event.”
(The New Indian Express, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram)