Austin Konchira's exhibition of paintings delved into the realms of abstract art

It was a riot of colours, forms and figures at the Shangri-lla Art Gallery at Vazhuthecaud, where artist Austin Konchira's exhibition of abstract art was held recently. Twenty-five odd paintings in various mediums such as oil on canvas, acrylic and water colours, were on display.

Bold yellows and blues are the colours that are most used in the paintings. The two colours, he says, are his favourites. On one painting titled ‘Death Of the Shephard King,' Konchira says: “The painting portrays the freedom that has come to the animals with the death of their ruler.” One can feel the distorted figures of the animals coming to life as the artist speaks.

Inspired by the North East

The pen sketches on display, done in Indian ink, all took shape during Konchira's journeys across the country. He is just back from a month-long tour of the North East.

“The traditional clothes worn by the people in the region retain an old world charm. The vibrant colours of the clothes, especially the striking combination of red and black, have stirred my imagination,” he explains. One can see their reflection in several of the paintings exhibited.

A work titled ‘Farewell to the Martyrs' is one of the first to catch the eye. The figures of the men looking at a martyr lying on the ground emerge out of a turbulence of shapes and colours.

Konchira gave up his job as a professor of History three years ago to pursue his passion for art.

“My favourite subject is the cultural history of India, which has ample exposure to the arts,” says Konchira.

Konchira conducted his first solo exhibition in 1985 at the Museum Auditorium.

Since then he has displayed his paintings across the country and abroad as well.

“The response this time has been very encouraging. Awareness and interest for art among today's generation seem to be very high,” says the artist.

Most of the paintings and the exhibition itself is untitled. Explains Konchira: “I do not want a name to restrict the viewers' imagination.” That probably is the beauty of abstract art.

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