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RLV puts up brave, new show

IN THIS age of heavy duty consumerism, packaging plays a vital role in the overall branding strategy. It isn't enough to have a first-class product; it must be presented in a way so as to create an immediate visual impact. Students of the Government RLV College, Thripunithura, study new art concepts of promoting causes (such as AIDS) and merchandise.

Creative minds come up with graphics and structures that reinforce the brand's message; a shoe box that is tied with laces for a well-known shoe company. Some of these are on display at the college's somewhat spartan campus grounds.

Even as staff and students decry the pathetic infrastructure, the latter insist that this inadequacy doesn't hold back their spirit or talent. It's a season of exhibitions and keeping in step, the college calls its annual art show, Phalgunam. Organised by the Faculty of Fine Arts, it showcases works in the painting, sculpture and applied arts sections. Fr. Thomas Thennad's tree stump with an axe above it is a telling comment on the destruction of forests; it's a spiral chain of reactions as the birds and wild life that the woods are meant to nurture are forced to flee or face extinction. The artist adds an ironic twist; unable to find a tree on which to build its nest, a desperate bird makes it on the handle of the axe. The logs of wood that are strewn around the stump symbolise a pyre; ready to be lit so as to perform the last rites of the forest. An installation, Rhythm of Life, by K. M. Hariharan, is composed of cycle wheels, each wheel representing the level of human development. "Even at the final stage, as he rises to his full form, man is still caught up in this circle of life," says this final year student of sculpture.

Sanam C N's sculptural piece is representative of his own inhibitions and failings; coupled with the boundaries set by society, he feels completely trapped, both within and without. Still life, portraits and landscapes form the bulk of themes in the painting section.

Anoop Anandapuram gives a surreal treatment to a bucolic setting as villagers settle down under a shady tree to play cards. Devoid of facial features, these men are undisclosed envoys from the artist's village in Trichur; moreover, the approach helps in giving a two dimensional, flat look to the painting.

Computers open up a whole new realm of artistic possibilities and Vinod L is articulate about his chosen medium. Based on the chaos theory a fractal is a system wherein numeric data and equations are fed into the computer which multiplies these to create a new image, even as it retains the original structure. Says Vinod who has made a poster based on this, "In the mind's eye, a fractal is a way of seeing infinity; for artists it requires a willing suspension of disbelief." As a part of his course, this final year student of applied arts has also created a story board for a 30-second commercial for air coolers.

The exhibition is open till February 27.


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