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Hyderabad-based Eshwariah Art Gallery is a son’s tribute to his father

Eshwariah Art Gallery is a son’s attempt to realise his late artist father’s aspirations

The memory is fresh in M Sanjay Kumar’s mind. “I felt as if someone was trying to wake me up from my sleep; I got up from bed and began to scribble the words ‘Eshwariah Sai Kala Niketan’ in a diary,” he recalls.

Last month’s launch of M Eshwariah Art Gallery (MEAG) on the first floor of Eshwarsai Kala Niketan complex in the residential locality of Madhuranagar, is not only the realisation of that scribble but the culmination of Sanjay Kumar’s tribute to his artist father (late) Eshwariah. Originally Eshwariah’s house, the building has been turned into an apartment complex and a flat on the first floor has been remodelled into MEAG.

Hyderabad-based Eshwariah Art Gallery is a son’s tribute to his father

Eshwariah had struggled hard to earn his own place in art circles. In a family of blacksmiths, Eshwariah’s father Narayanachary was known for his embellishments on buggies used during the Nizam period. While other family members did carvings, Eshwaraiah was interested in art; but he lacked family support. After his attempts to enter the Navy failed, he got initiated into art, by chance. A tenant of his cousin residing in Ameerpet was a Maharastrian artist, and he encouraged Eshwariah to study arts. He pursued a course in applied arts in JNTU. A contemporary of artists P Gouri Shankar and M Chandra Shekar (Laxma Goud was his senior and Thota Vaikuntam his junior), Eshwariah initially worked on figurative works and later, inspired by astronaut Rakesh Sharma, created works on space. Says Sanjay, “His paintings had the vision of falcons and a man who travels into the outer space with the bird. My dad, Lal Rathnakar and Dattatreya Apte began a studio called DRE in Jambagh, but that closed down after my father’s demise.”

Savour the works

Eshwariah was active in the field of art till 96. In 2003, he learnt digital medium and was working in the house when he passed away after a brain haemorrhage. Sanjay remembers how his father worked in a small space in their house. “Most of his works got awards but he never had a studio of his own. He would always keep himself engaged in art and art happenings. His wish was to have a space to work and showcase his works, ” he says in explanation of establishing MEAG.

Although interested in art, Sanjay didn’t make it his career. “My father advised , ‘Don’t come in my line.’ He went through a dark phase and didn’t want me to struggle like that.” A printing technologist by profession, he had earlier worked for an advertising agency. Now he has his own design firm which does logo, catalogue and brochure design.

Since 2004, Sanjay has been conducting painting competitions in his father’s name. When his mother fell sick in 2013, she wished to convert the house into a gallery. “In Hyderabad, we see many young artists waiting for a space to display their works. Our gallery provides a platform for such artists.” Sanjay considers his father a role model for younger generation of artists. “At the age of 63, he learnt computers and created 42 works using the digital medium. He was a commercial artist engaged in doing labels for clients from Goa and Orissa. He was hungry to learn more.”

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 10:39:09 AM |

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