People K. Muralidhar excels in art that is eco-friendly
In a small unassuming place on Picket Road, Secunderabad, K. Muralidhar is immersed in moulding a clay Ganesha. A bunch of women and children file around him and look on with awe. In his small gallery-studio, you can stand testimony to K. Muralidhar’s creative genius as he works on sculptures based on the Warli and Chattisgarh tribes. Ahead of the Vinayaka Chaturthi, Muralidhar is conducting a free-workshop teaching how to make a Ganesha out of eco-friendly clay. He has encompassed all areas of oil painting, glass and fabric painting, murals, sculptures, pottery, clay paintings and other decorative items. One can see that he has a penchant for making art out of everyday ‘waste’. He believes that art is a constant cycle of learning and adapting, and hence in his journey to learn more he has mixed, matched and experimented a lot. Muralidhar has invented a special type of clay. He calls it the eco-friendly clay which is a mixture of recycled material like — Multani mitti, cotton and wood powder. “Natural and herbal ingredients make it soft, lightweight and unbreakable,” he says. He pauses and tends to the Ganesha he is moulding. He picks a stone and gets on his craft. He peers in and rubs his palms to soften the dough. In a matter of minutes, the Ganesha’s head, torso, feet and the mouse are ready. He then takes a pen’s refill and dots eyes and with a blunt knife scrapes out ears and makes the creases in his dhoti. Soft detailing, works wonders, he says. “ It’s all about the clay,” says Muralidhar. He says that it can give art a 3D effect and can be used on any surface — canvas, bottles, pvc pipes, thermocol and cardboard. The clay he says takes about two hours to dry, upon which you can use vegetable and food dyes. Having dabbled in all kinds of art — oil, sculptures, murals, glass painting, fabric art and watercolours, K. Muralidhar likes best to go back to clay painting and hopes to create art out of ‘waste’.