Nature is the inspiration behind Thomas Kallarackal’s art

An African elephant is charging at you. Kicking up clouds of dust, his long tusks pointed downwards, he appears menacing. At the exhibition of paintings by Thomas Kallarackal, this elephant stands out—a gigantic work in oil paint.

Titled ‘Guardian of the last Bastion’, the 6ft / 8ft painting tells the story of an elephant who acts as a lone soldier beginning to assume the role of protector. The vegetation in the forests has depleted, and he is doing his bit to preserve whatever remains around him, Thomas explains. The painting was completed in one year, he adds.

Most of the 40 paintings on display deal with Nature-inspired themes. Pretty landscapes, which celebrate the glory of our flora and fauna, create a fantastic visual experience for the visitor. For Thomas, the exhibition is a way to communicate the happiness he felt while painting. “We human beings are essentially full of happiness. Once we realise that, we can share the joy of life with others,” he says. Thomas' paintings are, in a way, his way of expressing his thanks to Nature for all that it has given us.

His ‘Signature Series’ consists of large paintings of tigers. In one of them, a tiger reclines, his fixed stare certainly capable of sending a chill down your spine. In another, a pair of tigers appears to be enjoying the pleasure of each other’s company. The tiger, Thomas says, is a powerful symbol, an animal which has always fascinated him. “They are extremely beautiful creatures and the tiger is on the top of the food chain. The presence of tigers in a forest suggests that the forest is ecologically balanced,” he says.

Thomas has conducted exhibitions in Dubai and Delhi and this is his 25th show. The self-taught artist, who hails from Mundakkayam and is settled in Bangalore, runs a gallery, ‘My Heart’, in Bangalore. The exhibition is on till November 8 at the Durbar Hall Art Gallery.