The Art of Halahala showcases original comic artwork from Appupen’s latest graphic novel
The Divine Lady Mayaveh stands out, on the altar, in shades of grey, with tinges of lilac-blue. Her colours have seeped onto the Earth on which she stands. Her altar though, is colourful, with shades of yellow, red, orange brown. But she still draws all the attention, maybe not only for her divine aura.
“The mother Goddess of Halahala is depicted in her new avatar, with an enhanced physique to seduce more younger followers who pray to her and get boons granted. She walks on piercing shards of hard ground with her bare tender feet, has just enough clothes to not be censored and is great fun to party with,” is how she is described by her creator, the graphic novelist Appupen, who has displayed artwork from his second graphic novel, Legends of Halahala in an exhibition titled ‘The Art of Halahala’ at Gallery Five Forty Five.
The silent novel tells five different love stories from five different places in Halahala, named after the deadly poison in Indian mythology.
And the exhibition showcases standalone pages, covers, and interludes from the novel, as original comic art.
“I would like comics to be taken more seriously; comic art gets a different treatment out of the country. Even within the country, I think comic art has to be explained in its nascent stages by showing people how comics are made because one can read a comic in four minutes, while the artist takes four months to do it. So I like to show the process,” says Appupen. In the exhibition he displays war scenes; scenes involving kings and queens, princes and princesses, totems, landscapes showcasing castles, among others.
“I have tried to show five different styles and characters. When I say art of Halahala, I’m trying to create a world, so I like to show places and settings that will expand the world for me. But these images don’t tell a complete story, unlike in the book.”
Appupen says the world of Halahala also has some poisonous elements, as a reflection of the way he looks at the world today.
“There’s a lot of corporate takeover of the physical and mind spaces. There are some places in Halahala, both in Legends of Halahala and Moonward, where I have tried to symbolise how the mind space is taken up by trends and corporate ideas.”
‘The Art of Halahala’ will be on view until June 7 at Gallery Five Forty Five, 545, 6 main, 4 cross, Indiranagar Stage II. For details, contact 9886117375.