D. Radhakrishnan

Udhagamandalam: It is said, “there is nothing new in art except talent” and this was evident in abundance at a three-day exhibition of paintings which got underway at the Lawley Institute here on Friday.

Organised by the Kotagiri-based Chiaroscuro Gallery in association with the Nilgiri Documentation Centre and the Riverside Public School, it features paintings by the founder of the gallery, the talented artist-cum-sculptor Gokul Gowder of Kil-Kundah and his students Bhanumathi Manoharan and Sumi Thiagaraj of Kotagiri.

On display are about 120 pieces of art.


The 42-year-old Mr. Gowder told ‘The Hindu’ that the objective of the maiden attempt of Chiaroscuro gallery was to reflect various aspects of the Blue Mountains through paintings.

Though the few years he spent in the Breeks Memorial School here and the couple of years he studied in the Madras College of Arts and Crafts helped bolster his confidence and hone his drawing skills, his faith is his talent has been of immense help in pushing him up the ladder.

He said that not only was the hilly district a painter’s delight but the distinct appearance of the hill people was also worthy of reproduction on canvas.


“That is the reason I am now specialising in portraits,” he said and added that the demand for such pieces was growing.

While one of the pieces pays tribute to tea, the ‘green gold’ which has for long ensured the economic well-being of the Nilgiris, another establishes the enduring romance of this hill station with the game of snooker.

Striking paintings of a herd of buffaloes and a flock of sheep highlight the age old axiom, “united we stand, divided we fall.”

Positive aspects

Some of the visitors said that such exhibitions help sensitise people to the positive aspects of the district and its people.

The painting exhibition was inaugurated by the Chairman, Ambal Auto, K. Krishnakumar.