Friday Review » Art

Updated: July 27, 2012 20:39 IST

Nature, the muse

Anasuya Menon
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Flying colours A work by R.K. Chandrababu on display
Flying colours A work by R.K. Chandrababu on display

For artists R.K. Chandrababu and Eroor Biju, Nature is the absolute inspiration. Their separate shows in the city capture its varying moods

Artist R.K. Chandrababu has translated his travel experiences into a series of paintings, ‘Flying Life’, on display at the Durbar Hall Art Gallery. He has travelled extensively and says each journey has given him something to cherish. “The different kinds of people one meets on a journey and the varying landscapes fire one’s imagination,” he says.

Fifteen paintings in the series depict various aspects of a metaphorical journey. One of his works has a train of people walking towards a bright source of light. “It is their journey from darkness to light,” says Chandrababu, while he adds that a painting, even if it is titled, is always open for interpretation.

Real life characters are a source of inspiration for the art teacher from Kochi. He speaks fondly of his oil painting ‘Panangadan’. It shows a fisherman with a huge fish slung over his shoulder, carrying a jar full of smaller fish. “I used to know this man from my village. I was always moved by his life, battling poverty and the struggle to protect his four daughters,” he says.

Nature is the ultimate inspiration, says the artist, who treasures the good memories from his village. Butterflies and fish are two recurring motifs. “The reason why I am so captivated by them is that they are really pretty and teach us something about life. Fish move extremely fast. Butterflies are such pretty beings, but are so short-lived. They seem to underline the impermanence of things,” he says.

The exhibition has 66 of Chandrababu’s paintings, which he has done over the last three years. He experiments with different media—oil paint, acrylic, watercolour and ink. He has been painting for 25 years and is passionate about sculpture, too. A few samples of his wood cut, etchings and dry point, have been exhibited. Chandrababu has also authored a book, Ottayal Mozhi.

The most recent of his works is a giant canvas with a few black dots joined by a thick red line. “When the times change, artistic influences change, too. I was trying to trace my own artistic quest through the work,” he says.

The exhibition is on till July 29.

Kerala Art Gallery

Nature gets the undivided attention of artist Eroor Biju. An exhibition of his works at the Kerala Art Gallery shows the varying moods of Nature.

Biju is enamoured of the sheer power of water. While he captures its gentlest face, as a pretty rivulet or as a softly gurgling stream, he also brings out the sheer destructive force of a dangerous current of water gushing down a rocky mountain, evoking a sense of fear and awe at the same time. The exhibition, titled ‘Nature’, has 18 paintings.

The vast differences in landscapes that Biju has observed on his numerous travels have inspired this series, he says. Half-burnt bamboo forests, placid lakes, picturesque waterfalls, vast stretches of parched land, all appear on canvas and paper. “I have recreated them from the memories of my travels,” he says. An intelligent use of the knife combined with the brush on canvas lends a special quality to the realistic as well as abstract paintings in the collection.

Through this series, Biju is also trying to convey the message that water is the most important thing that sustains life on this planet, says Jayanth Kumar, curator of Kerala Art Gallery, which is celebrating its first anniversary.

With degrees in chemistry and law, Biju combines the discipline obtained from these branches of study in his passion for painting. He has also got a post graduate degree in painting.

The exhibition is on till July 31.

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