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Carnival of ideas

Kala Jathre has brought together 60-odd artists with a variety of styles and techniques

CITYSCAPE A mixed media work by Varna Sindhu titled City Life

The third edition of annual art carnival, Kala Jaathre 05, has brought together a collection of more than 150 paintings, prints and installation works by 60-odd artists hailing from different parts of the State as well as Chennai, Kolkata and Baroda. Organised by city-based Art House, the jaathre offers original works of art at affordable prices.

Varying moods

As could be expected, the exhibition reflects different styles and techniques used by the participating artists. The moods and themes also vary — ranging from cheerful and relaxed to grim or stern. Figurative works are displayed along with abstracts, still life studies rub shoulders with surreal images and portraits stand face-to-face with landscapes.

Chennai-based artist Manoharan has come up with a deftly executed black-and-white pen sketch of a goat. The swift lines moving across the semi-abstracted body compliment the angle and width of the composition. The presence of a crow, seen perched on the animal's back, adds to the curious arrangement.

Mukunda delivers a surrealistic image of floating fish in his work titled Aquarium, while Geetha "exposes" different elements of her kitchen in watercolour and ink. P.B. Harsoor incorporates the bust of a woman surrounded by still life objects in his painting, even as Shiva Kumar constructs his Chair with the help of 13 squares on which he has sketched abstracted images in black-and-white.

J. Senthil Kumar sets up an interesting rendering of a well-dressed woman sitting in an open landscape. Her profile, with colourful spots on the face and a conical cap on the head, indicates that she is enacting the role of clown.

Expressive comments

Two among the artists draw inspiration from their immediate surroundings. Varna Sindhu locates a seemingly lost male figure in the middle of his composition titled City Life. All around him are streets populated by vehicles represented by plastic toy bicycles, cars and mobikes which are hung on the canvas. The dripping paint used to present the roads and the simplicity of the whole composition attract the viewer's attention.

V.G. Venugopal's essay on the half-completed flyovers (Urban Design 4) is another eye-catching work. Indifferently entrenched concrete and iron structures symbolising the bleakness of the urban landscape and the titillating hoardings peeping out of nowhere and promoting slick products try to bring out the irony and contradictions of our everyday existence.

The exhibition also includes some interesting abstracts by Manju, Suresh, Kalidas, Manjunath and Akram. Kala Jaatre is, without doubt, a commendable initiative. One hopes, that in its future editions, the jaatre would attempt to introduce further refinement/innovation in format, content and display.

The exhibition concludes at Venkatappa Art Gallery on May 13.


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