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Updated: January 3, 2014 17:22 IST

Stone sculptures suit every kind of décor

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Kiran Subbaiah giving finishing touches to his work on Adi Sesha in Mysore. Photo: M.A. Sriram
The Hindu
Kiran Subbaiah giving finishing touches to his work on Adi Sesha in Mysore. Photo: M.A. Sriram

Mysore based sculptor, Kiran Subbaiah’s multi-dimensional work is spread across more than 100 sculptures

Nearly 40 years ago when A. Kiran Subbaiah visited Belur and Halebeedu temples he was soaked in the poetry that the stone sculpted figurines offer. Unlike most sculptors who are born into the stone and chisel family, a passion for painting and drawing had drawn him closer to stones. He enrolled himself for a five year course on sculpting at Chamarajendra Technical Institute (CTI) in Mysore in 1972 (after B.Sc.) and the same year saw him winning laurels for arts and crafts. But all that’s history now for the 60-year-old master sculptor went on to win a serpentine list of awards from then on, while his residence on New Sayyaji Rao Road in Mysore is a one-of-its-kind sculpture museum.

Shilpagram’s hero

Kiran Subbaiah was a hero of sorts at Shipagram - the artisan’s fair of the ‘STONA-2010’ in Bangalore who had displayed a host of his creations in his stall, each speaking a tale of its own on his mastery. “I have more than 300 sculptures and a collection of this kind by a single sculptor is what makes my effort stay in focus,” says Kiran. “France, U.S. Germany and U.K. may be core centres for art museums in various mediums but where I have differed from the world market offer is my introduction of ‘Multi-sided sculptures’ wherein every side is taken up for carving different ideas. Each side is carved in such a way that the subject on one side does not interfere with the subjects on the other, yet the co-relation is brought out aesthetically in varied styles and patterns to emerge as a speciality-expertise. For, one has to compose and visualize differently compared to normal sculptures.”

In one of Kiran’s statues you can see a temple priest from one side and a village chief from the opposite angle. “Multi-dimensional sculpting is a specialised genre which seems to be a single statue but actually has several more angles to it. And we don’t often hear of sculpture artists attempting this kind of work.” This is the reason there are no Guinness Record holders in this category, and Kiran’s multi-dimensional art is all set to contend for the record and the Guinness team is expected to come over for inspection soon.

The Adishesha

The attention-grabbing piece that Kiran has worked on for three-years is the 135-headed idol of Adishesha that also depicts 45 separate snakes carved in different postures on a pedestal of 5.3 feet tall piece. “I have included the Shri Yantra, Om Yantra and the Gayatri Mantra engraved on the back of the Adishesha statue. I have both contemporary and traditional styles in my creations and mainly use Krishnashile (steatite stone) as it is suitable for carving.”

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