Banker-turned-artist Subrahmanyeswara Rao Manchem celebrates the rural milieu
“My village is too deep rooted in me to be lost,” smiled Subrahmanyeswara Rao Manchem as he looked at his works mounted at State Art Gallery in Kavuri Hills. Subrahmanyeswara Rao is the combination of a banker and an artist. If he is busy fulfilling his bank duties in the mornings, in the evenings, his life turns vibrant and full of colour. Painting was a hobby as he enjoyed expressing on the canvas. Then he met artist Ulchi during his graduation in agriculture at Bapatla and drawing enormous influence from the artist, he learnt the ‘Wash' technique and began using them in his works. “The speciality of this technique is that the painting does not wear away and one can keep it for long,” he said showing us a 30-year-old painting ‘Deevi' exhibited at the show.
His expression and subject has been represented more effectively through the village life. The 50 exhibits depicted are a combination of folk and traditional themes. In one painting, three men pray to the Goddess with their offerings.
What cannot be missed is a sickle held by a man and in the background is a goat, which is praying for its life. “It is an ironical situation that the goat is praying to the goddess to save it from these men who are ready to kill it and offer to the Goddess,” said Subrahmanyeswara Rao.
The rural life came alive in a set of paintings depicting bangle sellers, a vegetable vendor and the mango toranalu considered auspicious and hung in front of the houses.
A work on Lord Buddha was a journey to seek truth. “A woman takes her dead child to Lord Buddha and asks him to bring him to life. Buddha asks her to bring gingelly from a house where there has been no death. The woman goes everywhere but cannot find a house where there has been no death. She realises that death is inevitable,” said Subrahmanyeswara Rao.
The banker has now got a transfer to Rajahmundry. “The exhibits were not for sale. Before leaving Hyderabad, I wanted to have an exhibition of my works,” he said.
Keywords: art exhibition