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Thursday, Dec 19, 2002

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Colours of mysticism

Biju Madathikunnel is not among the art-for-art's-sake theorists. This artist, who will soon be ordained a priest, will give away the proceeds of his show to help poor students in a City school.

One of biju's landscapesin watercolor and a work titled Dilemma.

"THERE IS joy in absorbing the beauty of Nature and transferring it on a piece of paper," says Biju Madathikunnel, an upcoming artist. "But when we depict themes regarding life, the feelings that evolve are much more complex," he adds. Time & Space Art Gallery, on St. Mark's Road, is sponsoring his first exhibition of framed watercolours and abstracts on acrylic between December 19 and 24. The proceeds from the show have been earmarked to help the underprivileged students of Alphonsus School in the City, run by Redemptorist House.

Twenty eight-year old Biju, a mathematics graduate, was inspired by the books of Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan to study cosmology and psychology. His interest in these subjects and his study of the concept of time and space come to the fore in his paintings. But it was when he joined the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (C.Ss.R) for priesthood that his natural talent for drawing and painting took on a whole new dimension.

School life in Muttuchira, Kottayam, saw Biju winning prizes in several inter-school art contests. As a teenager he started experimenting with abstract forms. The death of a close friend while he was in college made a big impact on Biju. So moved was he that he wrote a story Ormayil Oru Meevalpakshi in Malayalam. The book is presently going in for a second edition. "The story of Buddha too made me do a lot of introspection. My life changed at that stage, and I decided to study to become a priest. My paintings became a means to depict the struggle of humanity, and to encourage people to work for a world of peace and happiness," informs Biju.

Apart from his paintings, Biju's works include a book of cartoons called My Sketches for You with Love and several short stories published in Malayalam magazines. This third-year student of theology is in awe of the infinite potential of human beings, existing in an infinite Universe. "Nature with all its simplicity and complexity has given me the simple themes for my artistic expressions," says the lanky young man. The first exhibition will have 32 of his paintings, while the second show will have 60.

The gallery is open between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., and it can be contacted on 2997164/2075163.


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