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Works of an art prodigy

Kaavya Pradeep Kumar
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Her attention to detail and the maturity of her paintings has won the attention of renowned art personalities, including Kanayi Kunhiraman and Katoor Narayana Pillai. A class IX student of St. Thomas Central School, Aarcha Suseendran is conducting her third solo exhibition at the Museum Auditorium. The 45 paintings on display are a mere fraction of the young artist’s works, for, hardly a day goes by when Aarcha is not immersed in her art.

There are several paintings kept in the corner waiting for boards and space to be exhibited. Aarcha’s father pulls them out one by one, showing them to a group of school students who had come to see the exhibition. The artist, however, while gracious, waves off the compliments saying this is what she loves to do and working on one piece after another was hardly a strained pursuit for her.

“I would like to take up art professionally too, after school,” she said.

Her skill though, is irrefutable, for she works on both landscape paintings and portraits with the ease of a more experienced artist. Moreover, much of it self-taught as Aarcha has not enrolled herself in any special art schools or clubs. “All she needs are the materials and she does not even need a model or sketch from which she can copy. Every piece is drawn from her own imagination,” said Mr. Suseendran, who is a photographer with the Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute. He had tried his hand in art and paintings before he got involved with photography and hence he guides her with the occasional tips on lighting, angles and depth.

“One of the reasons why we didn’t take her to any art classes was because I did not want her to be influenced too much by the style of any art teacher. What she produces now is purely her own,” he said, adding that Aarcha had a keen eye for design and patterns, citing the example of the print on an earthen pot in one her paintings. She had been to an arts and crafts exhibition few weeks before and the colours and styles she saw there were seeped into her artwork.

Aarcha has participated in virtually every painting competition held in the city and has won over 700 prizes, including The Hindu’s painting competition. The ongoing exhibition, titled ‘Chitra Charutha’ will continue till February 17.

Kaavya Pradeep Kumar

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