Karnataka

Art with seashells

Radha Mallappa with her replica of St. Philomena’s Church at a museum in Mysuru.

Radha Mallappa with her replica of St. Philomena’s Church at a museum in Mysuru.  

Radha Mallappa has created over 250 pieces of work, that include replicas of famous monuments, using seashells

What began as a childhood hobby became a passion later in life for Radha Mallappa — an artist who uses sea-shells to create spectacular works.

Having collected tons of shells during her trips to coastal towns and cities, Ms. Mallappa arranges the same artistically to make replicas of monuments and other works. These are now on display at the State’s first sea-shell museum in one of the few such exhibitions in the country. A 22 ft high sculpture of Ganesha, a 15 ft high replica of St. Philomena’s Church, besides a 12 ft high Taj Mahal and nearly 250 other exhibits made of seashells are on display.

“I was fascinated by seashells as a child and would collect them in hordes during visits to places like Rameshwaram,” said Ms. Radha at the museum located on the road to Chamundi Hills.

Some of her works took as much as 14 hours a day to create. The replica of St. Philomena’s Church was a mission in progress for seven years. The sculpture of Ganesha has been certified by the Book of Guinness World Records as the ‘Largest seashell sculpture’ with the idol being 22 ft 1 inch high. The Dashavatara series depicting the 10 avatars of Lord Vishnu required special effort, says Ms. Radha, who had to visit beaches many times to find the right colour and shape of shells.

Ms. Radha’s husband Mallappa sold a plot of land to fund the establishment of a museum. They shell out ₹35,000 per month as rent for the site on which the museum has come up. She plans to recreate the seven wonders of the world with seashells.

For tourists, the seashell museum that had a soft launch in December, is a new attraction along with the Sand Museum, the Jayachamarajendra Art Gallery, the Railway Museum, and the Wax Museum in Mysuru.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 11:31:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/art-with-seashells/article22546337.ece

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