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Ode to Mother Earth

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At one with Nature Asokan Nanniyode with one of his paintings
At one with Nature Asokan Nanniyode with one of his paintings

Asokan Nanniyode's paintings are a result of his study of nature

Nature has inspired many an artist to pick up the brush. While some paint nature as it is, some entwine both man and nature. Asokan Nanniyode is one such artist who has linked both man and Mother Earth on canvas.

His series of 26 paintings titled ‘Goddess' is an ode to nature. Only 19 of these works are, however, on display at Museum Gallery.

Women and nature

Says Asokan: “I did not have a definite image or idea when I began painting this series. The brush led my hand to create a woman who is a part of nature; it soon became a series. But yes, I do hope my paintings create awareness amongst people on the importance of preserving nature. My paintings are also a result of my study of nature.”

Greeting visitors to the exhibition is an image of what seems to be an old fort. A window shaped like the bust of a man gives one a peep into what's on the other side –a woman (reminds one of a mermaid) and the sea. Women made up of pebbles form the next couple of paintings.

Pebbles of different sizes and colours are joined together as if in a jigsaw puzzle to create images of women at one with nature. So, if one canvas has a woman resting on a rock made up of pebbles, another has a fish, which seems to guard a woman who is asleep on the beach.

Two paintings that seem to be twin paintings due to the backdrop portrayed, has two women in what look like ancient caves. While one painting has a woman huddled up fearing what would happen next, the other has a woman staring back almost challengingly.

If the first reminds you of nature coiled up as it is being attacked, the latter seems as if nature is bold enough to put up a fight.

A painting of a woman hugging herself with her face masked has the universe as the background. Her body is made up of tiny circles that remind one of molecules. Is the artist trying to tell us that we are but a part of the universe?

His next set of paintings also reminds us we are but a part of the earth as fine grains of sand make up women who are asleep on the beach.

That we are dependent on nature is pointed out in Asokan's canvases of women in green. Leaves are what clothe women in these paintings. If one has Mother Earth sprouting from amidst thick greenery another has nature all wrinkled and dried up.

Yet another has nature providing her bounty to man. A portrait of a woman who appears in the midst of blooming plants reminds one of Eve.

The final painting in the exhibition is the one that is most arresting, Mother Earth is meditating and the look on her face is serene. Surrounded by lush untouched nature one can't help but hope that both she and nature remain so.

The exhibition of paintings is on till May 11.

LIZA GEORGE

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