Travelling with art from Kumaranalloor to Paris

Back to the roots: Artist Akkitham Narayanan in conversation with K.N. Shaji and Bose Krishnamachari at the screening of Shaji’s documentary on the Paris-based artist at the Children’s Park Theatre in Kochi on Sunday.  

Writer K.N. Shaji’s documentary on Paris-based artist Akkitham Narayanan was screened by Cochin Film Society at the Children’s Park Theatre here on Sunday.

The 27-minute documentary, produced with the support of Kerala Lalithakala Akademi, captures the physical journey of Mr. Narayanan from Kumaranalloor to Paris as also the artist’s internal journey to his roots.

A villager at heart

As Mr. Shaji said, despite living in the modern city of Paris since 1967, Mr. Narayanan has remained a villager at heart, keeping a slice of the time-warped life of Kumaranalloor in him.

The film shows how closely linked the artist has been to the culture that shaped him. It also unravels his shift from being a practitioner of the German expressionist mode of painting to one who has reinvented abstract tantric art purely as an experiment in geometric forms and hues.


Shot primarily in the sleepy Kumaranalloor in Palakkad district, the documentary has its camera handled in most part by Manilal Padavoor, while it also has footage shot by others in Chennai and Paris.

Artist Bose Krishnamachari, who introduced Mr. Narayanan at the event, recalled his first meeting with the artist way back in the 1980s at Kalapeetom, which has transformed into the Nanappa Art Gallery under artist T. Kaladharan, and his brush with Mr. Narayanan’s oeuvre at exhibitions in Mumbai.

Future generations

Mr. Krishnamachari said that documentaries such as the one on Mr. Narayanan introduced artists and their body of works to future generations, “which is important in a society in which art in general education finds little mention.”

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 2:19:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/travelling-with-art-from-kumaranalloor-to-paris/article26045389.ece

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