Bottles, drums and records

B. Sridhar has made feats a habit — painting inside bottles, drumming non-stop for 24 hours…

Updated - July 11, 2016 06:35 pm IST

Published - May 18, 2012 05:11 pm IST - CHENNAI:

Brush with Art: B. Sridhar. Photo: Special Arrangement

Brush with Art: B. Sridhar. Photo: Special Arrangement

B. Sridhar is adept at painting on the inner surfaces of thin-necked bottles. A steady practice of this art over a decade has resulted in a record — 1,000 bottles painted in this manner.

This February 29, the India Book of Records recognised this achievement, as also the incredible feat of painting a crowd of 181 celebrity faces on the inside of a tall liquor bottle. Earlier in the year, Sridhar succeeded in another attempt that is far removed from paint brushes and slender-mouthed bottles. On January 7, he drummed non-stop for 24 hours at the T.N. Rajarathinam Arangam in Adyar, a feat acknowledged by the Tamil Nadu Book of Records.

A different platform

From an early age, he has focussed on being exceptional and standing out from the rest. This driving philosophy led him to discover this offbeat platform for presenting art.

“When I began to paint inside tall liquor bottles with long and narrow necks, I had to be innovative,” says 32-year-old Sridhar. The customised brush employed in the painting of Scooby-Do inside a 15-inch-long bottle, shows how. Three brushes are tied end to end with strips of cellophane tape and the lower half of the brush at the bottom is broken but still linked to the rest by a strip of cellophane.

“Because narrow necks of such bottles hamper its movement, a brush has to be flexible,” explains Sridhar.

Another challenge lies in the fact that the chosen images have to be painted from the bottom to the top so that they are in the right orientation when the bottles are placed on the shelves.

But, the major problem he faced was monotony. So, after successive series of paintings on leaders — political, social and spiritual — he decided to focus on themes. Bottles depicting the attack on the Twin Towers and the 2001 Gujarat earthquake testify to this pursuit. A relatively new addition to his collection is a bottle containing an Indian flag flying at full mast on a pedestal — he manipulated matchsticks into the bottle and glued them to erect it.

On the cards is an attempt to paint parts of the Taj Mahal inside 1,000 small medicine vials. When put together, the containers will showcase the image of this structure.

“Honestly, I am not certain if it should be the Taj Mahal or Mahatma Gandhi.” He has already painted the Tamil saint-poet Thiruvalluvar in this manner, using 100 Horlicks bottles.

Sridhar — who plays the drums for ‘ghatam' Karthick, ‘keyboard' Sathya and ‘mridangam' D.A. Srinivas and has associated with drummer extraordinaire Sivamani — is also mulling over attempting a new feat in drumming, but does not want to announce it now.

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