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Skilled strokes

The results of an art camp are on show at the Kannada Bhavana

Chandranath Acharya's work exudes harmony as well as a disquieting tension.

AS PART of the Roerich Centenary Celebrations, the Kannada and Culture Department had recently organised a five-day painting camp in which senior artists of the State participated.

While eight of the 18 artists are based in Bangalore, others came from places such as Gulbarga, Jhamkhandi, Davanagere, Dharwad, Hubli, Mysore, Bijapur, Udupi, Tumkur, and Belgaum. The outcome of the camp has been put on show at Chitra Gallery, Kannada Bhavana.

Creative path

Despite the constraints of time and the restrictive environment of an art camp, it is quite heartening to see that the artists seem to have followed an earnest, creative path in their works.

Chandranath Acharya's image incorporating an anguished figure hiding his face between the knees is haunting in its mood and evocation.

Powerful image

The long and stretched-out limbs of the person with the inclusion of two famished, skeletal dogs, one squatting and other standing, increases the severity of the situation. The near-monochromatic delineation is interrupted by use of greys and browns, but the slight patches of red seen on the body of both the man and dog induce an eerie feel. Despite the rampant bleakness, the artist has been able to harmonise a silent cadence with the disquieting tension in the work.

Rekha Rao paints a powerful landscape, intensely metaphorical in the application of colours to expansive blue mountains, flowing stream with red waters and so on, while P.B. Harasur presents a dark, fiery, silhouetted profile in close range, surrounded by falling dry leaves.

Other eye-catching works on display show S.G. Vasudev pursuing his exploration of the human face, Bhaskar Rao unfolding a sturdy composition while featuring a couple of colourful puppets, R. Raja enclosing a Himalayan landscape within a contemporary urban setting, and Gayatri Desai parodying a matrimonial advertisement.

Some of the rural sequences painted by artists make for pleasant viewing, despite the intermittent decorative elements.

Khademani's abstracted ruralscape incorporating an old man with his cow, Khande Rao's village dancer, and M.B. Patil's lonely woman fit into this category. Even if no path-breaking proficiency is discernible in most of the displayed works in the exhibition — with form taking precedence over content in several instances — the viewer can still perceive the skilled strokes and technique pursued by the artists.

The exhibition, at Chitra Gallery, concludes on October 27.


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