Twenty-six artists come together to celebrate 25 years of a pioneering institution

Parasakthi sits on an upturned tub, surrounded by bricks. Light bounces off her sun-bleached hair and her hands bear traces of the dust swirling around. She’s one of the innumerable children whose parents work at construction sites. But, something about this child in Rathnapuri piqued Gokulam Vijay’s interest. She is the subject of his painting, Building Supervisor.

This is one of the 47 paintings on display at the Kasthuri Sreenivasan Trust Culture Centre’s silver jubilee exhibition. From Joseph Chacko’s flower-rich landscape and R. Varadarajan’s content cows to A. Chokkalingam’s farmer series to C.V. Rajan’s mist-filled forest, there’s a lot to take in at the exhibition that features the works of 26 artistes.

Market spaces

K. Anbarasan’s works are a throwback to the past, a time when people stopped at the market to speak to the shopkeeper, haggle light-heartedly and take home something directly from the producer.

His area of interest is the marketplace. One of his paintings is about the evening shanty that comes up around the Chakrapaani temple in Kumbakonam.

K. Santosh Babu from Mayilaadudhurai has taken it upon himself to showcase rural life and craft. A potter creates something at the wheel. “Nowadays, the traditional potter’s wheel has become a rarity. Everyone uses an automatic wheel,” he says. Elsewhere, a boy plays with marbles, a sight alien to most city kids.

Coimbatore’s feted V. Jeevanandham has two creations — the passion-filled blue-toned Aranayam and the bitter-sweet Balloon Seller. Does one feel happy there are just some balloons left on his stick or feel sad for lost childhood?

Living on the fringe

The ‘Vanishing’ series by P. Manickavachagam, impresses, as always. In this series, the artist captures snapshots of a different lifestyle — women at a field and a tribal woman plaiting her daughter’s hair. K. Balashanmugam’s works tell similar stories. Of pot sellers, of village traditions. “There was a time when potters made so many things for everyday use. Now, they make things for ceremonial use. From being revered for their craft, they now exist in the fringes of society.”

Antonyswamy’s works are all about the deep blue of the sea and the sandy beaches. A couple of fisherwomen walk smiling, their hands heavy with the day’s catch. A basket bursting with fish sits on the head.

M. Shanmugasundaram used to be in the field of advertising. Today, he’s a full-time farmer and his village vistas are proof of his lifestyle.

You almost feel you are in the midst of the cool backwaters when you see S. Ravi Kumar’s landscape detailing the transportation of coconut in Kerala’s riverside communities. C. Murugesan specialises in bird profiles. D. Ramamoorthy is fond of sketching the crow. His water colour with a marble effect showcases the unity of crows. He has also showcased a plumed cock, an abstract work in charcoal.

N. Padmarajan specialises in oil painting using a palette knife. Chockalingam’s oils are abstract works with elements of cubism in it and speak of happier times when people led laidback lives.

And then, there’s Robinson, whose works fall in the fantasy zone. In Dreaming Dolphin, he portrays two dolphins with lobster tails and a mermaid. You don’t realise where one begins and the other ends. Invisible Horse follows a similar pattern. This is the city-based artist’s first show.

The show predominantly features works by local artists. And, fittingly so, for the Trust has done phenomenal work to promote local talent.

The paintings are priced from Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 25,000. The show, on till December 23, is open from 10 a.m. to 6.30 p.m.

For details, call 0422-2574110