WHEN PROFESSOR and artist C. S. Jayaram asked the 40-strong American student contingent, on a visiting programme to the Sacred Heart College, Thevara, to give their impressions on India, they took him on. On a sizeable canvas each guest brought out the artist in him, portraying his or her concerns and loves.
Writ large is the symbol of Om, defining the spirituality that binds the country. Others have painted the ubiquitous bananas, coconut palms, a boat leisurely weaving its path in the backwaters. Few are less deferential; their observations include mosquitoes, a rushed auto rickshaw as it swerves down the road with `Honk Please,' emblazoned across it.
The students from Notre Dame University and some from St. Mary's College in Indiana are here for two months absorbing the culture of India and specifically Kochi. The painting is a part of the debut exhibition organised by Painters Forum, the art club of Sacred Heart College. The forum is active and members are often taken outside the campus and asked to do location sketches. To be a successful visual artist, students are advised to increase their visual perception; develop spatial relationships, refine visual semantics, enlarge their visual vocabulary and master materials, processes and techniques. Some notions about abstract art are also put right and viewers are informed not to reject this kind of art as stuff and nonsense.
Abdul Shafique, a final year student is represented here by a few sketches and cartoons. A charcoal sketch showing an athlete as he readies for action, his muscles all taut and tense, is interesting. Elsewhere Shafique has taken the liberty of doing a cartoon of his Principal!
Karina Job dabbles in a variety of media, watercolours, oils and even metal embossing. She had exhibited her paintings at Café Palette last year.
Effort has gone into framing each of the art works and students are enthusiastic about their creativity. As a placard on the wall reads, "It is no more easy to make a good picture than it is to find a diamond or a pearl. It means trouble and you risk your life for it," Vincent Van Gogh.
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