Ten artists participate in the National Painting camp on at Bolghatty Palace Hotel

The quiet and the breeze bring out their creative best. And the ten artists at the National painting camp now on at Bolghatty Palace are immersed in their canvases. From all over the country, the Kendra Lalithakala Akademi's effort to group them at this scenic locale has borne fruit. The ten works are almost ready as the six men and four women scrutinise their canvases, brush in hand, colouring an area there, adding a line here or simply staring at a vacant space, visualising the form that will inhabit it. Each of the participants has a clutch of awards in his/her hands.

Vilas Kulkarni, a Delhi based sculptor, has since turned to canvas. But his ‘painting' looks like a relief, perhaps his homage to the form of sculpture. The ‘white beauty' he has created here has a three-dimensional effect, with several layers of design, his style taking you back to the caveman's art. “It's acrylic putti,” he lets you into the secret. He experimented with this form for nearly two years before arriving at this style. He held a show in Delhi with his all-white creations recently. His sculptures have been in cement, and bronze. White, to him, ‘is the colour of devotion, also a confluence of the various colours one sees at ‘Kumbh mela'.

Inspiration

Jyotirmoy De from Bengal is indeed a proud Bengali. The Bengal Tiger crouches over a city and that is how he describes his feelings when he came from a rural area, near Shantiniketan, to the city. His work, ‘Return', is huge and the buildings small and many. He has converted some of his paintings into kantha works on cloth, as wall hangings.

For Mahula Ghose, her childhood in the tea regions of Darjeeling has shaped her artistic sensibility. Her huge green-dominant work has nostalgia peeping out from all over. The equipment in old tea factories and cartons take prime position, in a background of bright green. “Fourteen tea factories in my place are closed,” she says. Mahula has done installations with related material like the bags of tea pluckers. Anti war and anti-terrorism are other subjects that the Delhi-based artist from Siliguri develops in her art.

The Baroda based Dimple Shah is a full time painter who who does research into off beat subjects like alchemy. The distillation apparatus in her work has inner meanings. “I am a Jain and I look at purification from many aspects. Mainly within me. In a broader sense, it is extended to the micro and the macro of my world,” she explains. She is into theatre too and has done solo shows involving body movements and video footages.

Monika Paul from Assam shows you her work, titled Relation-6, which is part of a series she is doing about the relationship between man and animals. A couple with a cage and three freed birds form the subject matter of her work. In bold flat strokes, colour dominates, the reds and greens. Making terracotta mosaics is her forte and she relies heavily on the mural style, the north east folk influences very clear.

The lovely earthy colours and textures of Sanju Jain's big canvas has a positive effect on the viewer. The bright yellows receding into the browns and the different levels on the canvas, the adept work done with acrylic putti again, is abstract. “I work under my own conditions. No art collector can dictate terms to me,” says the Bhopal artist.

All four women artists in the camp have broken free of the shackles of so called feminine subjects and feelings to move on to very general and universal ones.

Malayalis

Alex Mathew is a Malayali but officially, he is from Andhra Pradesh, for he works there. Feeling lonely in a crowd is what he wants to present on the canvas. The charcoal work is almost ready. Go closer and you find that each one in the crowd has an expression that is different. It's a huge crowd, mind you. The lonely one is represented in colour, to stand out. He is essentially a sculptor and wood reliefs are his major works.

Anand Prakash's huge red and yellow abstract has free forms and the work is in bright hues of these colours.

Hochimin is the official Keralite representative and his charcoal and lead work is taking shape, with two people and his signature one-horned powerful form, though small, taking centrestage on the canvas. This is a bison, which is present in many of my works. I feel it has so much of raw energy. If only it had brains…” and he chuckles, his message clear but left unsaid. We may have turned into a democracy years ago, but still, there are secrets in the ruler hierarchy that people don't know and that is represented in this work, the Kochi-based artist says.

Karnataka's Sivanand Basa shows the farmer's plight. Grain bags, the details remarkable clear, lie hoarded in a godown in the blue background.

These works will be exhibited later, says D.S.Yadav, Assistant secretary of Kendra Lalitha Kala Akademi. “Five national camps will be held this year . There was one camp on digital art too, the first. A sculpture camp will be held at Mahabalipuram,” he added.

The valedictory function is to be held on Sunday, at 3.30 pm on the same premises.