The paintings and sculptures of Richard Jesudoss, on view at Cholamandal Artists’ Village, highlight different aspects of the city. The exhibition is an ode by son Jacob Jebaraj to his father

The bamboo paintings tell the story of a city’s past with minimalist clarity.

“Retrospective”, sculptor Jacob Jebaraj’s ode to his father Richard Jesudoss’ rich talent, provides an insight into his memories of Madras and his home town. The collection on view at Cholamandal Artists’ Village, juxtaposes monotone with coloured mosaic-like paintings of the city. Also on display is a collection of Jesudoss’ bronze cast sculptures that reflect the present-day metropolis.

Jesudoss woke up every morning and went for a long walk. He observed everything he saw and stopped by a clump of bamboo near his home. He carried his usual set of tools and began to slice the bamboo. Soon, he had everything he needed to paint his series on rustic Madras, when it was once a small town.

The scenes are nostalgic and narrate tales of a time when life was simpler — when every morning, a fisherman returned home with his catch and the woman of the house cleaned and cooked it. Another work shows a goat being sacrificed to appease the local deity. Yet another series of paintings shows the celebration of Pongal, when the entire town gathered to watch the rice pot with its contents boiling over; and where festivities included everyone dancing and celebrating as one. The paintings also show how people toiled in those days — the men walking distances carrying logs of wood on their heads and women walking to the nearby stream to fetch water in pots.

The bronze sculptures talk of the present, how man has exploited Nature’s generosity. The conflict between animal and man is evident in the sculpture of a man being attacked by a cheetah. His coloured art paints a vivid picture of Chennai today. It portrays the traffic, confusion and the headiness of a metropolitan city. “The theme of the exhibition is a flow from past to present. It asks a pertinent question; where are we heading?” says Jacob Jebaraj.

Richard Jesudoss’ “Retrospective” is on at You Art Studio, Cholamandal Artists’ Village.