Art ‘Confluence' has 10 artists showing 47 works at David Hall, Fort Kochi. They express their fears and doubts about a future where both humanness and water are scarce. Prema Manmadhan
It's a confluence of feelings and talent, the art show aptly titled ‘Confluence,' at David Hall, Fort Kochi. Ten artists are showing 47 works in the three rooms of the ‘heritage art gallery' opposite Parade Ground. There is a café too attached to the gallery.
What binds these artists is their angst. They express different kinds of fears about the future and how humanity is increasingly losing its humaneness in a world that will soon have water and compassion in equally scarce measure. One way of expressing unwelcome change is going back in time, indulging in nostalgia.
The lone woman in the group is Suvitha K V. Her unpretentious works take the viewer back to school, to the days when you had drawing books and struggled to put your thoughts into lines and colours only to have your friend laugh at the disproportionate human figure or the dog with a tail too long. This is exactly what she intends to do. In one work, you find many pages and as many thoughts. A postal envelope gets pride of place among the many houses, human beings, nature and animals. The medium is acrylic, though you get the feel of water colour.
Sanam Narayanan's lone work is a dissertation on man's invasion into nature's works of art, like the oceans, rivers, backwaters and mountains, on which man trespasses for personal gain, altering their very courses and often inviting Nature's wrath in the bargain. In charcoal and water colour, you see the backwaters, and when you know that he is a Vypeenite, the picture gets clearer.
Bara Bhaskaran also has only one big work. In black and white dominantly, the fine lines and the intricate composition is a sort of tribute to Kanai Kunhiraman, whose sculpture, Yakshi, at Malampuzha, changed the way people looked at art forever. He has drawn the Yakshi in his signature background, vines and a hundred other minute things in the background, from an angle that makes the Yakshi very feminine.
Bhagyanath C. has taken a U-turn from his earlier style, though the black and white drawings are a progression of his older works. Layered works in butter paper give each work, movement. For instance, one drawing is superimposed on another and there may be three layers and the different layers work out to be a single one. He has put up 12 works.
Sebastian Varghese, for whom change means many things, (he spends his time partly in the United States) has chosen to paint things that are universal, he says, like ponds, estuaries. What time does to people and nature is depicted in some works. Wars, natural disasters all change the way the earth looks. He has six works that explore these thoughts.
For Anto George ‘frames' seem to be a big deal. He feels everything is framed, the thoughts we express, the beliefs we have and “we can classify frames based on values.” They look like sturdy wood pieces from a tree, horizontally cut out. But they are made of paper pulp by Gipin Varghese and on a closer look, the intricate drawings in diluted colour, filling the whole space is something that makes you wonder about the patience of the artist. Gipin is interested in art history and folk art, and has a doctorate in fine arts from the School of Letters, M.G. University.
Bright and flowing colours
Leon K.L. draws life forms. He studied art after his degree in Botany and he has clubbed both intelligently where he has an edge. Fine lines and labour consuming figures fill his canvases, the colours always bright and flowing. Nature is a favoured subject and in the artist fraternity where most people revel in the negativity factor, Leon says, “My emphasis is on the hope in the midst of all the messages of hopelessness.”
Reghunadhan K. is a sculptor and he remains one, come rain or shine, for a sculptor's life is more difficult than an artist's if that is his only vocation. In the two works he has here, one is part of a series. From afar, it seems like it is a cloth that is drawn over tightly across two figures. Come closer and you see that it is just one whole block. The other one is a fun piece, if you so think but which has an underlying meaning too. A hen, whose expression is unique, is sitting on a blue knife with a blue bottle of poison on its back. Draw your own references, the hen seems to be saying.
T.R. Upendranath is the only one among the ten who has done no art schooling at all. He has, like the others here, shown in several galleries in the country and abroad. Starting with collage, he turned over to prints of photographs, chiefly his own photos in the nude, taken by his wife Dhanya, to produce art of a special variety. Now, he has taken X-rays of his brain and created a work that can be viewed from both sides of the frame. The frame also forms part of the work, with texts written all over in red. It's a reflection of the multiple personalities that we all carry, he says.
The show is on till March 21.