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Narratives of rural life

Sukka Sunder isn’t just another artist sketching rural life, his works connect the past with the present. Prabalika M. Borah.

August 28, 2014 04:29 pm | Updated 09:53 pm IST

HYDEARABD, TELANGANA, 26/08/2014: Artist Sukka Sunder showing his artwork in the Exhibition in Hyderabad on Tuesday, August 26, 2014. Sunder’s art depicts several episodes from his childhood. 
Photo: Nagara Gopal

HYDEARABD, TELANGANA, 26/08/2014: Artist Sukka Sunder showing his artwork in the Exhibition in Hyderabad on Tuesday, August 26, 2014. Sunder’s art depicts several episodes from his childhood. Photo: Nagara Gopal

Sukka Sunder is elated. He was nervous in the beginning but encouraging words by seniors artists gave him confidence. “I was nervous because this is my first solo show. All the 25 paintings are recent works specially done for this show. Though I have participated in many group shows earlier, words of encouragement by senior artists make me feel good,” says Sunder.

Sunder’s canvases bring to life live images of an everyday life in villages. The mood captured varies from conversation of farmers on the way to the fields, in the village market and the life in thatched houses of the villages. His men and women have well defined expressive eyes and lips that mirror their expressions.

Sunder’s tryst with art began when he was in Std V when his instincts made him grab a pen and sketch out Rani Rudramadevi. “I seemed to get everything right. I had her features sketched as exact replica of the photo. Elders at home were impressed. My inspiration to paint is my brother who is a signboard artist. Later I did paintings of leaders and as a young school boy, I made greeting cards for New Year, and gave them to friends and relatives. The response from my teachers, student friends and relatives inspired and encouraged me further.”

With Sunder’s interest in art continuing, he joined BFA to pursue it seriously. “Objects like the lantern, issurayyi , rolu- rokali looked interesting to me,” he says as he points out works that depict these objects. He also loves to paint extinct art forms and occupations like budaga , angalollu, gangireddulollu, kommollu, sodi chepetollu, budabudukalollu and others. “I grew up watching them in our village and now life is devoid of instances where one can see such art forms. In some of my works I have represented a sensitive and unnoticed relation and the intimacy which is created or automatically formed between animals and human beings, “he explains. In his painting 'the morning clock' the village woman is compared to morning clock who works out her daily activities like a cock or hen.

The relationship that rural folk develop with their livestock in their daily survival etc is recurring theme throughout his paintings. This relation is an outcome of the society and “the socialist ideology” that he had developed over the years. “My father went to Madhya Pradesh as a labourer. So in some of my works I have painted the narratives of the life of the villagers as migrant labourers, their feelings at being away from their villages and family,” he explains.

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