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Reflecting the ethos of a nation

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DEFT HANDS: Meena Kumari extols the virtues of Nature in her work.
DEFT HANDS: Meena Kumari extols the virtues of Nature in her work.

N.J. Nair

Six sculptors are giving shape to a garden that reflects the diversity of Indian culture.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Reflecting the diversity and strength of Indian culture and spirituality, a sculpture garden is coming up in the sylvan surroundings of Sai Gramam, at Thonnakkal in the suburbs of the city.

Six sculptors from different parts of the country are giving finishing touches to their granite sculptures at a national camp, which will conclude on Tuesday. Chandan Das and Prasun Ghosh from Kolkata; Motilal Karai from Tripura; Meena Kumari Silpak from Delhi; Ajab Singh from Noida in Uttar Pradesh; Rokesh Kumar from Udaipur; and E.P. James from Kerala are working in unison to create an epitome of India.

Concern over the over-whelming desire for worldly pleasures, the imminent threat to nature, quest for spirituality and memories of a hoary past, all come alive through their works.

A journey through the backwaters and silver beaches of Kerala inspired Ajab Singh to replicate the natural beauty in his work. His sculpture of a boat with the bust of a oarsman is a tribute to the natural beauty of Kerala. “I was thrilled by the greenery and the vast expanse of the backwaters. The array of country boats on the beaches struck a chord in me and it evolved spontaneously.”

Prasun Ghosh, who has sculpted a hand reaching towards a temple tower, says the spiritual milieu of Kerala kindled his creative urge. “I have tried to portray the eternal pursuit of man for a communion with the omniscient spirit of the universe and the quest for gratification of the soul through spirituality.” While Meena Kumari and Rokesh Kumar extol the virtues of nature in their works, Motilal Karai’s ‘mother and child’ depicts the warmth of maternal affection. The profile of a man in grief sculpted by Chandan Das portrays the modern man who is concerned over the mad race for wealth and power. ‘Athani’ carved by James reminds one of the bountiful past of Kerala.

“I am trying to revive the memories of the past when the State was self-sufficient in food, water and all other needs. Now we have nothing to fall upon. It will nurture the traditional values which were our strength,” he says.

Camp coordinator V. Satheesan, a sculptor of repute, says the national camp is being conducted as part of an initiative to set up the garden. More such camps would be conducted in a bid to bring in more sculptures from different parts of the country. “All these are my friends who I had met at camps.”

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