“I painted this one,” chirped a six-year-old, pointing at a painting of Spiderman swinging between the buildings of New York City. Numerous other kids, their families, college students, and professionals crowded the CP Art Gallery in Chennai last weekend.
Artist Priya Natarajan’s Lil Studio art school celebrated its Silver Jubilee and 60 students participated in a thematic art show titled Fantasia, where over 100 art pieces were on display.
The fantasy-themed exhibition was inaugurated by fellow artists Lakshmi Krishnamurthy and Janaki Sabesh.
Priya has been teaching art for the last 25 years and also runs virtual art sessions for adults titled Blank Canvas since 2018.
Fantasiais a celebration of all her students coming together. Participants are between the ages of four and 76, and have used different mediums including watercolours, oils, acrylics and pastels to express themselves. “It’s a lengthy process to ideate and curate each art piece, so we took our time with it. This has been in curation for over six months,” said Priya.
Students from across the world, including Abu Dhabi and the US, have displayed at the exhibition in Chennai.
Shreya Anu Shekar, a fourth year student at the Srishti Institute of Design in Bengaluru, who has been a student at Lil Studio since her childhood, said, “The thing about Priya aunty is that she is not medium restrictive and allows you to explore different kinds of mediums. I used to take part in all her exhibitions when I was here, and her classes are therapeutic for me.”
Shreya’s piece is unlike any other at the exhibition – she uses the technique of weaving as a way to express her idea of fantasy through layers of differently-coloured yarn, and the threads freely flow out of the frame as though it is a work in progress.
“I started learning art here when I was in Class VII.Art is like a stress buster for me,” added Reethika Ravi, an Economics student at Stella Maris College.
The exhibition was a delightful mix of different levels of proficiencies. Paintings of mythological creatures, superheroes, cartoon characters and fictional locations were depicted. Each stroke brought to life new realms: from lush, mystical forests to sprawling, otherworldly cityscapes.