Expo brings back to life relatively unknown sites on canvas
A teppakulam with the mandapam reflecting in the water amidst grass growing all around pricks one’s environmental consciousness. The pragaram of Thiruvanaikoil temple with pillars flanking it has a three dimensional effect that leaves the viewer wondering how one didn’t linger longer there. The intricately carved temples bathed in sunset make the onlooker want to hop on a bus to Narathamalai and Kudiyanmalai, near Pudukottai.
By showcasing the familiar and the relatively unknown, ‘The Legends’, an exhibition organised by the Tiruchi Travel Federation and Kalanjiyam Art Gallery, successfully triggers the itch to take a trip to these sites.
The exhibition of paintings of historical monuments attempts to promote regional tourism through recreating them in paintings done by local artists. “By making these works of art accessible to the public, we encourage them to gain knowledge about lesser known historical sites around us,” says Suresh, proprietor, Kalanjiyam. “For the wisdom and creativity of the ancients are contained in their temples and forts,” he adds.
Chinappa devotes a series of sketches to bring alive Narathamalai with all its nuances right from the temple sculptures to the thatched roof shops at the entrance. Similarly Durai kindles historical curiosity by painting Kudimiyanmalai in acrylics. NIT-T professor of architecture, Manikavasagam has explored lesser known locations like the Pallava period cave temple at Malaiyadipatti , Sivan temple at Tirupattur, and Amma charitam near Sittanavasal. “No one has recorded these places in art,” he notes. The Durga idol in Palaiyaru near Kumbakonam looks real in Ramamoorthy’s sketch which was done on location.
The Rockfort is the most depicted monument, but is presented interestingly in various perspectives- a century back, view form the Cauvery bridge, one captured in a haze created by rainfall and a view from the road leading to Kallanai. Artist Ravilaks uses his brush to obscure details of the Srirangam temple gopuram deliberately to focus on the Ramar mandapam.
Village Mookaiaya has added a generous touch of imagination to capture the monuments in a bygone era when they stood uncluttered by commercial and residential structures.