The experience artists took away from working together at a camp finds expression in their works presented at the Kasthuri Sreenivasan Art Gallery

Lord Buddha surveys you as you enter the Kasthuri Sreenivasan Art Gallery. A paati from the canvas smiles at you as you walk past her. There are also the green meadows, crashing waves and women playing the veena. The paintings, displayed at VIBGYOR 2014, are varied in theme and form.

The exhibition features nearly 50 paintings that have been selected from the artists’ camp, held in December at the very same gallery. The camp provided them with a creative ambience, says Jeevanantham.V, an artist. “We are used to working alone in our rooms. In the camp, all 30 of us worked together. It gave us a chance to learn techniques from each other.”An inky sky, a ship caught in a storm and a giant moon form the subjects of Gokul Vijay’s “Sea Scape”.

Painted in acrylic, the painting is priced at Rs. 12,000. The ship represents the artist, says Gokul. “The ship holds on, amidst the tempest. You can find the same resilience in an artist, too.”

In contrast, stands R. Varadharajan’s serene valley, where sheep graze, leaves rustle and birds sing. “These are the images of my native village in Karamadai. No matter where I go, these stay with me and find their way into my canvasses.” The 58 year-old artist says the camp introduced him to contemporary techniques. “Even though, I have dabbled in abstract and surreal drawings, my heart belongs to simple, landscape paintings. It was a learning experience to see these young artists paint. They have unique ideas and innovative approaches,” he says.

Many artists focussed on landscape and scenery. Thirugnanasambanda. R’s Landscape has a river and boat, painted in a yellow tint. An art director and background supervisor of many animation films such as Legend of Buddha and Ghatotkacha, Thirugnanasambanda says his paintings are influenced by cinema. “The designs and lighting in cinema, are reflected in the way I use light and shadow effects and colours in my paintings,” he says.

A wedding comes alive in the canvas of B. Rajathi, the only lady artist in the exhibition. A Master of Fine Arts from Government College of Fine Arts, Kumbakonam, Rajathi is now a faculty at Visual Communications Departments of GRD College Of Arts and Science. Her painting features the crowded marriage hall, with thousands witnessing the ritual, the bride and groom and the final procession. A native of Haridwaramangalam, a village near Thanjavur, Rajathi loves the way weddings are celebrated in her home town. “The function is so colourful and grand than weddings in the city. With so many rituals, varieties of food and grand cermonies, it is a treat for an artist.” In the village, a marriage is almost a community activity, says Rajathi. “Unlike in cities, where private parties organise the wedding, here an entire neighbourhood gets involved. Marriage is a lot more personal affair for us.”

Daily life is the perennial favourite. Village women with colourful pots wait in line to collect water from the taps. The hustle and bustle of the village temple comes alive in V. Vinoth Kumar’s “Temple Street”.

The expo showcases three sculptures. K Balashanmugham, who holds Master of Fine Arts from Government College of Fine Arts, Kumbakonam, has made a sculpture from waste materials, such as empty deodorant cans, unused USB cords, ear phones and soda caps.

They will hold at least 15 exhibitions under this series, throughout the year, says M. Kuppuraj, the manager of the gallery. “Our focus is on young and lesser known artists.”