Exhibition Eighteen artists of Shabala, all mentored by B.D. Dethan, displayed their works at Museum Auditorium

V ibrant Colours, an exhibition of paintings at the Museum Auditorium that concluded on Sunday, showcased a range of expressions in different styles. It was the effort of a disparate group who were united in their quest to express themselves on canvas. Among the artists were veterans and newcomers who had recently joined the group to celebrate the joy of colours and tap their latent talent for hues and shapes.

The artists, which included three men, had made each canvas special by painting their impressions of images seen and unseen. If some drew on memory to give colour and form to their thoughts, some others turned to nature to fill their canvas with striking images of flowers, leaves, birds and scenic spots.

Organised by Shabala, an offshoot of N.J. George Memorial Charitable Society, Vibrant Colours was an affirmation of the affinity most of us have for colours and shapes.

Lizzie Jacob, a retired senior bureaucrat and an artist herself, had begun the organisation in the memory of her father who “never stopped me from indulging in my passion for colours.”

Many of the artists had an innate skill for drawing but it was artist B.D. Dethan who polished those skills and helped them hone their style and techniques.

“Shabala was begun in 1989 and it was Lizzie Jacob who persuaded me to mentor the amateur artists. Over the last two decades, many wannabe artists have been a part of the group and I am proud to say that we were able to develop their confidence and visual sense. Initially, some of them began by reproducing famous works but gradually, they all found their own style. Vibrant Colours displays 18 different styles,” says Dethan.

Striking and pleasing paintings by Sumitha S. led the viewer into a kaleidoscopic space of colours, shapes and forms. Her delightful painting of a pond of iridescent blue lotuses indicated that visitors were entering the realms of imagination and creativity.

Flights of imagination

Seasoned members of the group such as Vasanthi Nair and Usha Rajagopal have broken free of realistic pictures and have given free rein to their imagination. Bright and deep shades have been used to highlight intriguing silhouettes and each of Vasanthi's canvas features a bird, perhaps to aid her flights of imagination. Remany Abraham has placed women centrestage in her creations that are also a pleasing melange of warm colours.

If Bindu Gopinath has focussed on the scintillating play of colour in leaves and blossoms, K. Gomathi has focussed on people, while Lekshmi Devi P.R. has chosen nature and women as her muse. Her portrait of a woman is an eye-catching one that piques your curiosity. K. Rajamoni has also come up with arresting pictures of rustic women while Paul Pattathanam has opted for abstracts. Yejneswar's abstract works in bright colours and installations add another dimension to the exhibition. Sunita Nair's mystic creations in carefully selected colours were a treat to the eye.

The participants included Soni Nair, Remany Punnen, Manju, Malathy S. Nair, Leela Muralidharan, B. Jayasree and Anupama Raj.

Saraswathy Nagarajan