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Artists object to artworks on premises of Gandhi Bhavan for ‘inferior quality’ and poor resemblance

Hassan is known widely for great sculptures at Belur, Halebidu and Shravanebelgola, the works at Gandhi Bhavan should maintain that standard, argue artists

January 24, 2023 08:13 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:18 am IST - Hassan

The art works on the premises of Gandhi Bhavan in Hassan to be inaugurated on January 26 have come under strong criticism from noted artists.

The art works on the premises of Gandhi Bhavan in Hassan to be inaugurated on January 26 have come under strong criticism from noted artists. | Photo Credit: PRAKASH HASSAN

Cement sculptures that have come up on the premises of Gandhi Bhavan on M.G. Road, to be inaugurated on Republic Day — especially that of Mahatma Gandhi — have been severely criticised by artists.

The artists pointed out that these sculptures with poor design and substandard finishing should not be in display in Hassan, known worldwide for wonderful works of sculptors at Belur, Halebidu and Shravanabelgola. The representation of Mahatma Gandhi has specifically come in for severe criticism for its poor resemblance to the Father of the Nation.

The Department of Information and Public Relations has taken up construction of Gandhi Bhavan in several district centres, including Hassan. The department has spent ₹3 crore for the structure and art works. Nirmithi Kendra of Hassan is the project implement agency. Minister for Excise K. Gopalaiah, who is also in-charge of Hassan district, will inaugurate the building on January 26.

Noted artist K.T. Shivaprasad of Hassan, who visited Gandhi Bhavan on Tuesday, January 24, expressed shock. “I came here to see the art works out of curiosity. I was shocked. In the Gandhi statue, the face does not even gel with the rest of the body. There is no harmony. It looks as if someone else’s head has been placed. It is very poor work,” he said.

Senior artists visit

A group of senior artists, who were in Hassan to attend a private function, also visited Gandhi Bhavan on Monday. They also felt the works on the display were of poor standard.

P.S. Kademani, well known portrait artist of Vijayapura, said, “Gandhiji is a popular personality. People have seen hundreds of statues or photos of the great man. They will find it difficult to accept this statue.”

Dr. Vittal Reddy Chulaki of Kalaniketana School of Arts in Mysuru, who worked as member of Karnataka Shilpakala Academy said, “There are good number of talented artists. The government should have utilised the talent available. This is the place of great sculptors who did a marvellous work in Belur and Halebidu”.

Kishor Kumar, retired principal of Fire Arts College in Tumakur, opined that any layman with little knowledge of human anatomy would point out mistakes in these art works. “I wish the officers concerned take a re-look into the works before the inauguration of Gandhi Bhavan and do the needful,” he said.

‘Happy with work’

The artists of Kala Koustubha Karakushala Kendra in Hassan have done the works that included statues, murals and wall designs. For the last 20 months, they worked on the designs approved by Hassan district administration. When The Hindu contacted Thribhuvan H.N., the head of this Kendra, said he was satisfied with the done by his team. “I am happy about the work. There were a few correction pointed out by officers. We have worked on the suggestions for the last six months,” he said.

Vinod Chandra, Senior Assistant Director of Information and Public Relations Department, told The Hindu that he had suggested some corrections earlier and the artists did work on them. “If there are any minor changes that need to be done, we will inform the artists,” he said.

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