Thiruvananthapuram

Kunnuvila M. Murali breathes life into statues with deft hands

The city-based sculptor whose statue of Mahatma Gandhi graces the Gandhi museum in the Assembly has another sculpture of the 'Father of the Nation' to his credit.

Kunnuvila M. Murali’s statue of Gandhi spinning cloth on a charkha was unveiled by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy at the Irinjalakuda PWD Rest House last month. The bronze statue, 8 feet tall, commemorates Gandhi’s visit to Irinjalakuda in 1934, his walk through Kattoor road that was fields then to reach the rest house. The primary funding for the statue is from Thomas Unniyadan’s MLA local area development fund.

Bronze was Mr. Murali’s choice for the statue taking into account its longevity.

Tallest such statue of Mahatma

The base of the statue, done in granite, is 6.5 feet tall. Mr. Murali says it is the tallest statue of Mahatma Gandhi spinning cloth on the charkha in the State.

He has a number of significant works to his credit such as the statue of Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai at the Thakazhi museum at Alappuzha, the statue of Velu Thampi Dalawa at Mannadi, a bust of Velu Thampi Dalawa at Nanthrikkal in Kundara, statue of the former President K.R. Narayanan at the Assembly, a statue of tribal leader Kolumban at the Cheruthoni dam at Idukki, of Sakthan Thampuran at Sakthan Square in Thrissur, and of the former Chief Minister K. Karunakaran at the Thrissur Town Hall.

He met Thakazhi’s wife and took measurements of the writer’s shirt before sculpting the statue. For the statue of Kolumban, he talked to the tribal leader’s successors to get an understanding of his physical features.

He read a number of books on Gandhi and visited Neyyattinkara to see how the charkha looked like before embarking on the work.

“It is up to the sculptor to breathe life into a statue,” Mr. Murali who took eight months to complete the project says.

“How Gandhi’s muscles would stretch if he were spinning yarn on the charkha, the expression on his face – all this has to come from the sculptor’s imagination. It is not easy to create a likeness,” Mr. Murali says.


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Printable version | Aug 27, 2022 9:49:44 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/breathing-life-into-statues-with-deft-hands/article8322818.ece