Touted as the only exclusive cartoon gallery in the country, the Indian Cartoon Gallery at Midford House, Off M.G. Road, is all set to host its 100th cartoon exhibition next week.
For over seven years since August 2007 when it was established, various nationally and internationally renowned cartoonists have used the platform to display their cartoons. The works of renowned cartoonists such as Mario de Miranda, R.K. Laxman, Abu Abraham and Shankar Pillai have been exhibited at the gallery.
V. G. Narendra, Managing Trustee, Indian Institute of Cartoonists, said that before the gallery was established, cartoonists did not have a space to showcase their work. “Our gallery provides space for cartoonists to display their work free of cost. Each exhibition attracts an average of thousand visitors,” he said.
Besides hosting exhibitions, the India Cartoon Gallery also holds workshops. Mr. Narendra said that six veteran cartoonists conduct regular workshops on political cartooning, cartoon strips, animation and cartoons used in marketing and advertisement. So far over 400 people including software engineers, scientists, police officers and bureaucrats have undergone training at the gallery.
Inspector-General of Registration and Commissioner of Stamps, Adoni Syed Saleem, who participated in a workshop has become a life member of the institute. “I always had a desire to learn cartooning as a simple picture conveys so much meaning. The gallery is run by a few dedicated people and requires more encouragement and exposure,” he said.
One of the youngest cartoonists who attended the workshop was ten year-old, Prarthana Ganesh. “I love cartooning and I learnt a lot after seeing other people draw cartoons at the gallery,” she said.
Talking about the importance of cartoons, Mr. Narendra said that cartoonists had to play the role of eye-openers and act as a voice for the common man. He expressed disappointment over freedom of cartoonists’ being curbed by media and publication houses who have their own policies as well as disgruntled politicians.
The gallery has also earned a place in the Limca Book of Records for being the only platform for cartoonists to showcase their art.
The fortnight-long exhibition, scheduled from June 14, will display 112 cartoons by100 cartoonists.