Homage through art
The exhibition at the Lalit Kala Akademi is a coming together of the alumni of the Government College of Fine Arts
A painting by Ramalingam
IT WAS like re-calling their student days at the College of Fine Arts during 1975-80 when the 30-odd students managed to get in touch with one another and planned a group exhibition of their creations titled `Homage'. During the silver jubilee year of their graduation they are paying homage to their alma mater, which is the earliest college of arts in the country, and their teachers who were responsible for what they are today through this exhibition at the Lalit Kala Akademi.
Most of the students of this batch have done their teachers proud by winning acclaim in different areas Ramalingam, P. Srinivasan and Rajasekar in painting and textile design, Balasubramanian in art direction, story and dialogue for films, Rm Palaniappan in graphics, curation and art administration, Dr. Razia Tony and Radhakrishnan in teaching arts in college and Ahalya and Chellappa in school, Venki, who has won four national awards in special effects for cinema, Venugopal in print media illustration, Clement and Ravi in advertising, Shanmugavel in story, dialogue and direction in films and Jothi as stunt actor. It all started when Ramalingam suggested that they hold a group show. Then they realised that it had been 25 years since they had passed out of the college and it would be good to meet their classmates and celebrate their silver jubilee through the exhibition.
"I'm meeting my classmates after 25 years and I'm so happy," said Ahalya as did many others, while sadly recognising the death of their classmate Sekar and missing two others whom they could not trace. Perhaps the plain canvas on which Clement has written `the memory is still fresh' expresses their feelings precisely .
The principal of those years was Prof. L. Munuswamy, but he could not be present on the occasion due to ill health. Other teachers such as Santhanaraj, Kanniappan, Murugesan, Mookiah, Perumal and Leela Ganapathy were present. An audio-visual presentation prepared by Venki introduced the 1975-80 batch students and what they are doing today. That morning, all of them had gone to their old classroom along with their teacher of those days, Vijay Mohan, and sketched a live model just as they had done a quarter of a century ago.
These drawings are also exhibited. Said one of them that Vijay Mohan, who at present heads the College of Arts, Delhi, is an outstanding teacher of anatomical drawing and that they were particular that he should inaugurate the function.
While there are caricature-like paintings by Venugopal, the watercolours by Jothi are photo-realistic. The paintings by Razia are somewhat surrealistic, particularly due to the choice of colours and their application. Faces, which seem to be looking inwards, are framed by psychedelic images. The geometric forms complemented by fine sharp lines filling the spaces in the creations of P. Srinivasan attract attention. The abstract expressions with a matt finish and varied textures by Radhakrishnan are almost like graphics. Ramalingam's paintings deal with home and family. Obviously, they have been influenced by his stay abroad as we can see foreign looking figures in them; unlike earlier works where the elements of a house or street would be mixed and face various directions, they are now more regular and formal; the colour combinations are interesting. The textural variations in the still-life works of Rajasekhar are interesting and the imageries border on abstraction.
The show is on till February 17, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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