FRIDAY REVIEW

Collage of creativity

K. KUNHIKRISHNAN

ARTISTIC ENDEAVOUR: Sankara Narayana Marar enjoys experimenting with shapes and media.

ARTISTIC ENDEAVOUR: Sankara Narayana Marar enjoys experimenting with shapes and media.  

A few villages around Thalassery, in north Kerala, are famous for its people who have excelled in different art forms such as painting, sculpture, and architecture. Most, however, have left their native place in search for greener pastures. But there are a few, who have stayed on in the villages. One such person is 67-year-old Sankara Narayana Marar.

His colourful paintings are a visual treat for the connoisseur.

His moss art was perhaps unique in the art world. He touched up the moss on his compound walls and painted them. These visually varied forms were photographed and then displayed as a work created by photography, art and nature. He also designed a wooden relief sculpture of 24' x 6' at Keerthi Theatre at Vadakara.

The most remarkable among Marar's paintings are `humanscapes.' They are figurative paintings of human forms in psychic shapes, in water colours and acrylic, and also using a palate knife.

Collage of creativity

In those figurative paintings, we see different facets of human strife and ordeals, loneliness and lingering death. These paintings, explained Marar, were meant to be profiles of life to move the viewer. Themes were drawn from social pressures and shocks inflicted on individuals and the resultant emotional turbulences. These complex mental agonies are reflected in `humanscapes.'

Another series is `colourscapes.' They are vibrant strokes emerging out of new hues, tones and shades. Every patch of colour is gathered together to form an abstract creation. Each of the kaleidoscopic multi-layered imagery turns out to be a feast for the eyes. Social tragedies upset the artist who responds through his paintings. For example, reports of atrocities on women evoked the series of multi-layered paintings.

Paintings of caged birds represents frustrated and caged human minds. The earthquake at Latur resulted in a series of split images of human forms.

Marar, who was trained in painting at Kerala School of Arts under C.V. Balan Nair, has conducted a few solo exhibitions.

His paintings are found in many famous art museums and collections. He has also bagged several prestigious awards.

Marar has also designed the book covers and illustrations of more than 1,000 books.

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