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An imaginative melange

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DIFFERENT: Artist V.V. Ramani at the exhibition. Photo: T. Singaravelou
DIFFERENT: Artist V.V. Ramani at the exhibition. Photo: T. Singaravelou

Deepa H Ramakrishnan

For V.V. Ramani, a collage is serious business

PUDUCHERRY: A portrayal of a male scholar with elements normally associated with women not something one would normally expect.

Music and dance critic and artist V.V. Ramani has used the image of a hair brush in this particular collage to make the scholar's Vibhuthi mark, nail polish bottles for his eyes and lipstick for the nose. "I really don't know how it went that way, I think it is a natural gift. For me the input comes from everything," explains the artist, whose exhibition of collages is on at the Aurodhan Art Gallery at 33, Francois Martin Street, Kuruchikuppam.

Titled Aagaman, which means `The coming', Ramani started this series with Ankur, the seed of creation. From there, he took it to the birth of a new life in "Arrival". The series then progressed to the "Karmic journey" of life, which has its "Joy and Sorrow".

Normally, students take up collages at the school and college levels. But for Ramani, it is no child's play it is serious business.

"Painting is a challenge. But here we are being more creative by using an already existing image to create another. As I work I fit the images into the picture of things that I have planned. Not many people in India work with collages. It is a different medium," he said.

Collages, Ramani explains, is playing with different raw materials. "For instance, years back (in 1989) I made murals and collages with cork. I was the first in the world to use it to make a collage. I saw the material at an international exhibition and told someone that I would like to make collages with it. A year later, the company called me and asked if I would use cork to do the sameand I did."

Other collages at the exhibition include the depiction of the five seasons of spring, summer, autumn, winter and monsoon, the five elements and the eight elements found in Krishna's Prakrithi.

He designs costumes for dancers and also designs for weddings, wherein he plans wedding card designs, the theme of the wedding, floral arrangements and saris for the bride, if needed.

The exhibition is on till March 4.

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