He creates an ocean with mere lines. Artist M. A. Sankaralingam's collection of paintings titled ‘Aqua Life' are on display at the Tangerine restaurant, Alwarpet. The works showcase underwater creatures and plants in their true shapes, brought into an almost 3-dimensional perspective by means of linearity. He fashions these creatures as if in movement, capturing the waning and waxing of the tides, only to bring them to life with the dexterity of his technique.

Though they may be acrylic and oil paintings done on paper, the works convey a yearning to visit and experience what he has created with his brush. The 54-year-old artist has won several accolades — in history, industrial design and, of course, fine arts. The technique he has experimented with in this series, he says, is called the ‘thread pulling' method.

“I've heard there is more life in the ocean than there is on land, and the thought of how fantastical that might be — the sway of the waves and the undersea plants, the movement of life under water, is simply fascinating,” says Sankaralingam. He explains his inspiration for the exhibition — “the ocean is a big part of our earth, I just dreamt of life in another form, in a milieu like water.”

Although he is reticent about the exact method he has employed in his works, he is thrilled to talk about his previous projects. His best known collection, “The Taj Mahals I built”, is a series of paintings depicting the Taj Mahal in different locations.

The artist's colour play in “Aqua Life” with various hues of purple, green and Prussian blue is something to be admired. His penchant for mixing ‘sunny' colours such as orange and yellow in portraying ocean life is something of a novelty. The exhibition features 35 paintings, of which 15 are on display till today (May 31).

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Arts, Entertainment & EventsMay 14, 2012