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Friday, August 18, 2000

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Arresting images


MOHAN DAS Badagara is a prolific photographer. Everything and anything, particularly in the cultural field, catches his attention.

When his association with the Alliance Francaise de Chennai, and its directors, from Mr. Joel Raffier, Evie Auzoux to the current director Christophe Le Du, grew, so did his photographic journey which encompassed the cultural programmes organised by the Alliance Francaise.

``The French Connection'', an exhibition of photographs by Mohan Das at the Alliance Francaise gallery till August 19, 9-30 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 3-30 - 6-30 p.m., captures moments from theatre, music and dance programmes and exhibitions organised by the Alliance in the past few years.

They include artists from both France and India.

Though a few of the colour pictures are quite interesting, black and white is obviously his forte.

There is a lot of depth and drama in these photographs. The sense of animation gets heightened in the double or multiple exposure shots.

Since Mohan Das has not used the flash and has depended on the stage lighting, the lightly lit areas and the shadows help create depth as well as interesting light patterns.

An interesting medley

The Adyar Art Club is presenting a group of paintings by Anamika, N. Ramachandran, K. Bhaskar and Gita till August 20, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

From her abstract work, Anamika has moved to Zodiac signs and old Egyptians subjects in small format. Zodiac signs are used along with other symbols. They are in relief, often in silver or gold colour on a dark background.

Similarly, Egyptian style reliefs incorporating human faces, as seen in the pyramids are also done. Some are copies of ancient works but some are her own compositions which are quite interesting.

The bigger, colourful painting, some parts of it ruined, also an Egyptian mural, is not quite effective.

Ramachandran too has delved into the past. He has copied the Ajanta frescoes, some of them quite well-known.

Most of his paintings are also small, just a head, incorporating even the peeled off section as it is. One painting that is large, is a replica of a whole scene, with the dark princes.

They are just copies of ancient works and reveal nothing of the artist's style.

Bhaskar has made a good attempt at landscapes of his native place.

The smaller ones are quite good though he seems to have lost patience halfway through in the larger ones. The representation of the sky in the larger paintings is good and reminds one of Renaissance and English landscapes.

Geetha has done metal murals with designs that incorporate human forms as well as glass and oil paintings also with human forms in a stylised manner.

The ones done with the knife have a good texture.

LAKSHMI VENKATRAMAN

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