Suguna Rajan attempts to add new dimensions to the traditional style of drawing murals

Going by the increasing number of ‘mural art exhibitions' which are being held in the city, painting murals appears to be fast catching the imagination of city-based amateur artists.

So it was with artist Suguna Rajan, whose latest collection of murals titled ‘Neelambaram' was on display at the Roerich Art Gallery, Russian Cultural Centre.

Variety art

Suguna displayed 26 of her murals at the exhibition. Her murals ranged from a huge, busy canvas titled ‘Meenakshi Kalyanam,' which depicted all the pomp, gaiety, and pageantry of a divine wedding, to small portraits of well-known deities such as Lord Krishna, Kumaranallor Devi, and Attukal Bhagavathi, to name a few.

Among her paintings, the one that catches the eye is a fairly large depiction of ‘Palazhi Madhanam,' in which the serpent Vasuki churns the great ocean of milk under the watchful eye of Lord Vishu, with anxious Devas and Asuras awaiting the outcome. The artist has not forgotten to depict the buxom Mohini all set to entice the Asuras.

Another interesting one is a depiction of Lord Krishna delivering the ‘Gitopadesam' to Arjuna. Arjuna's anxiety is mirrored on the faces of the prancing horses, whose reins Lord Krishna holds firm. Suguna's painting of Gautam Buddha's enlightenment under the Bodhi tree also stands out. Painted predominantly in ochre with splashes of deep green, deep blue and red, the artist has managed to capture the solemnity of the occasion. Yet another interesting one is that of Mary cuddling the baby Jesus – something that's not often seen in murals.

Beyond tradition

Traditionally, murals are supposed to be painted using only six colours – red ochre, yellow, green, blue, white, and black, but Suguna has used other colours for the background, such as pink for the mural of Attukal Bhagavathy and deep red for the ‘Gitopadesam.'

“It's to add another dimension to my murals. I see it as artistic liberty. Murals have always inspired the artist in me,” says Suguna, an employee of BSNL and a self-taught artist. She was inspired to take up the paintbrush after falling in love with sketches that Artist Namboodiri had created for M.T. Vasudevan Nair's novel Randamoozham, which was serialised in a Malayalam magazine.

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