A composite representation of the personal and the familiar is on display at a group art show, The State of Being Here, in Thiruvananthapuram

Thirteen artists, part of 121 Studio Space, a collective, have exhibited their works at Amuseum art gallery

October 18, 2022 02:57 pm | Updated 02:57 pm IST - Thiruvananthapuram

Thirteen artists have showcased their work at Amuseum

Thirteen artists have showcased their work at Amuseum | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

A yellow lungi is Nagajan Karavadara’s canvas, that too one smeared with mud and clay. The people, animals, vegetation and familiar sights of a Kerala landscape are depicted by this Gujarat-based artist on the cloth using mixed media.

While Kiran S Venugopalan shares his concern for the receding coastline with the viewer through a work on a big canvas, depicting a roof, resembling thatched roofing, supported by traditional fishing boats, the personal and the familiar get an artistic touch in the acrylic works by Justin Titus and Sreejith B.

They are among the 13 artists who have exhibited their paintings at The State of Being Here art show on at Amuseum art gallery. “The show is conceptualised within the scope of the artists’ take on their immediate realities,” states Megha Cyrus, curator of the show in her note.

Thirteen artists have showcased their work at Amuseum

Thirteen artists have showcased their work at Amuseum | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Platform for art

The artists are part of 121 Studio Space, an artists’ collective based at Pachalloor in the suburbs of Thiruvananthapuram. “We formed it three years ago. It is a space for artists to get together to work and discuss art. We hold camps and have exhibited our art creations at the studio. This is the first time that our works are being put up for public viewing,” says Leon Xavier, founder of 121 Studio Space. These artists are classmates and friends who studied in the same institution or know each other through mutual friends. In addition to alumni from art institutions in Kerala, artists from art teaching centres outside Kerala are part of the collective.

“Art and artists are being exploited. This can be resisted to some extent if we stand together. We hope this collective serves that purpose. This is also a space where we all forget our worries,” says Leon, an art teacher in a city school.

Painting by Leon Xavier

Painting by Leon Xavier | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

In one of his paintings, Leon has visualised his life as the son of a fisherman, growing up in the fishing village of Poonthura in Thiruvananthapuram. “This is my visualisation of the fisherfolk and their daily grind. I have seen them at close quarters since I am one among them. This work is also a sort of self-exploration. The fact that our studio space is by the sea has inspired the work,” says Leon. In addition to capturing the vegetation of the location in another painting, he has put up a series of individual portraits, dedicated to his friends.

The studio with its scenic surroundings and the people living there have inspired Jibin Abraham and Mukhil Raj. Jibin, in a series of portraits, “have captured the interiors of the studio and the persons I have interacted with over a period of two to three months.” Mukhil has exhibited a pencil-on-paper series, and an enchanting work in acrylic, which, again, is a celebration of the seascape with the flora and the water. The innate charm of personal, intimate spaces is the subject of Mehja VS’ pencil drawings. An alumnus of Santiniketan, she has also showcased her oil paintings. 

Pavisankar KP with his paintings

Pavisankar KP with his paintings | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Pavisankar KP has given free rein to his imagination in different media. There are etchings that are up close and personal with nature. One standout work of his is ‘Land’ , which underlines his concern for nature. The work is an interesting mix of metal pieces and dried bamboo flowers set against a background filled with intricate use of colours. There are 12 mini-drawings kept along with it, which he describes as “a study since these are the paintings that eventually culminated in the final work.”

Ratheesh S takes you to some common sights from his memory. “Growing up in Kadakkal [in Kollam], I remember how some of the women in my neighbourhood would have a chat while they removed lice from their hair. They would sit one behind the other, with the youngest or the shortest in the front,” says Ratheesh. A kerosene lamp, a firewood stove, customs surrounding a girl’s coming of age are some of his works that showcase his rural mooring. The artist has also exhibited his sculptures in terracotta.

A painting by Kiran S Venugopalan

A painting by Kiran S Venugopalan | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Sruthi’s ‘Maanathu Kanni’ and ‘Koopamandookam’ series is another ode to the State’s waterscape. The curatorial note states that Japanese artist Seiko Kamasowa’s Bathroom Series tries to connect herself to her experiences in Vadodara as a student. Jaipur-based Akansha Agarwal’s Mindscapes series is a compact presentation in ceramic.

The exhibition is on at Amuseum, near Althara Junction, Vellayambalam, till October 25. Time: 10.30am to 11pm. Monday is a holiday.

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