Sara Hussain captures everyday images of life in her paintings on show at the Art Corridor, Hotel Le Meridien

If a teacher willingly becomes his student’s apprentice, it says a lot about the ability of the student. That is what happened in Sara Hussain’s case. Her art guru Onyx Paulose takes immense pleasure in telling the world that he now assists his student for she has gone ahead. In the beginning she assisted him in his works and now the roles are reversed. Sara’s works of art are on show at the Art Corridor, Hotel Le Meridien, in an exhibition called, ‘Streets’. Aptly named the artist brings alive the streets of Mattancherry, where her studio is. The vibrancy comes through the use of bold colours in bold strokes. The canvas is striking. A texture is created by slapping thick acrylic colours and deftly controlling it with a palette knife.

“These are scenes outside my studio,” says Sara adding that tourists who visit Fort Kochi and Mattancherry are attracted by the old warehouses, lanes and the common everyday images. She paints them happily. Sara comes from a rural family from Arookutty. As a child the walls of her house were her canvas and she used leaves and twigs to colour and paint. Art was always a draw for Sara who studied it formally only later, completing a Diploma in Fine Arts. Currently she is completing her graduation in multi-media.

About the current show and the process used by her, Sara says that it requires speed to complete the canvas, “before the paint dries off.” She slathers the canvas with colours and then blends them to get the light and shade effect. The thin lines are sketched holding the knife perpendicularly and rushing it through acrylic or oil paint.

Narrow lanes, a warren of shanty homes, clotheslines, cycles, labourers, old godowns, warehouses form the subjects of her canvas. Some of the other images in her works are typical rural images from Kerala. The expansive paddy field with women in gaily coloured saris, scenes from the coastline, a huddle of rice boats, fishing trawlers, skiffs are some other images that she has painted in this show.

Nature inspires her. Artificial images don’t and that’s the reason she excels in catching life as it is. But Sara is all for contemporary interpretation of art.

In her prolific art career Sara has done a large amount of work for churches in Kerala and has received orders for works from abroad too. The largest canvas of ‘The Last Supper’ in Kerala, a 20x10 ft work, done by her is at St Mary’s Cathedral in Ernakulam.

There is just one instruction by her guru that she follows religiously - that a painting should inspire to an extent that a passer-by returns to view it. Most of her works at the show will have viewers take a second look. They hold the eye by the sheer strength of movement, colour and boldness of strokes. ‘Streets’ is hosted by Palette People at Art Corridor, Le Meridien, till January 5.