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The woods are lovely, dark and deep

SANGEETHA DEVI DUNDOO
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Art Autistic teenager Vikram finds a new expression through his paintings

Different expressionsKaruna Gopal with her son VikramPhoto: Sangeetha Devi Dundoo
Different expressionsKaruna Gopal with her son VikramPhoto: Sangeetha Devi Dundoo

When we say woods, we aren't referring to stretches of verdant forests but bamboo plantations. Teenager Vikram took a liking to painting bamboos because they are symbol of good fortune and easy to sketch! A part of the series ‘The cosmic code' is devoted to bamboos in different sizes and backgrounds. The colour palette varies from ochre to olive greens, sunset oranges to deep reds and even pastel pink.

In one frame that borders on being abstract, Vikram uses bamboo to offset an otherwise even, placid lake to convey the ‘beauty of destruction'. This painting was inspired by an image of a site of natural disaster. Vikram's mother Karuna Gopal draws a parallel between disaster and beauty. “What is perceived as disaster by most has its own beauty. Same is the case with autism,” she says with a smile.

Vikram is an autistic teenager and as a child, found his expression through paintings. Gauging Vikram's affinity towards painting, Karuna encouraged him and lent a helping hand whenever required.

Beyond bamboos, Vikram has also presented his take on spirituality. Ganesha, Hanuman and Krishna are his favourite subjects. Particularly noteworthy among them is a painting of the last step on the way to Tirumala. The painting shows the step smeared with kumkum and haldi and dotted with spots of burnt camphor.

SANGEETHA DEVI DUNDOO

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