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Creativity that defies crippling disease

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BRAVING ODDS: Artist C.V. Surendran with his paintings.
BRAVING ODDS: Artist C.V. Surendran with his paintings.

Staff Reporter

KANNUR: Spinal muscular atrophy may have disabled him physically and left him mostly immobile over the past 13 years, but his creative zeal refused to be crushed by his disease.

33-year-old C.V. Surendran from Cheleri in the district can neither walk nor stand up and he can hardly endure even the experience of making brushstrokes on canvas to give vent to his creative imagination.

However, the physically debilitating disease did not extinguish his creativity and he found ballpoint pens as his medium for painting expressions. As many as 40 of his works will be on display at the Town Hall here during the five-day exhibition being organised by the district unit of the Kerala Chithrakala Parishath beginning on Wednesday. Parishath vice-president Hareendran Chalad said at a press conference here on Monday that Mr. Surendran's works using ballpoint pens betrayed his response to contemporary issues full of images having underlying resonance with his own personal tragedy.

His understanding of contemporary art was nowhere clearer than his use of space on the canvas, Mr. Chalad said. The exhibition of Surendran's paintings was being organised to mobilise funds for his treatment.

Surendran, who was present at the press meet, said that the physical disorder started paralysing him when he was 20.

Two of his siblings were also crippled by the same disease, he said adding that he was fully dependent on his aging parents.

"My bedroom has been my world for the last 13 years and living as I am between life and death, my only consolation is drawing using ballpoint pens,'' he said. It took him nearly one month to complete a work, he said adding that he had done over a 100 works over the last few years.

Some of his works displayed at the press meet captured the artist's sense of his loneliness and his daily struggles with his diseases. His creative involvement with life helped him move out of his painful existence.

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