Fair for the discerning

The flawlessly crafted bronze horse on TTK Road. — Pic. by N. Balaji.

The flawlessly crafted bronze horse on TTK Road. — Pic. by N. Balaji.  

THE SIGHT of an over 12 ft. tall bronze horse in graceful motion, with taut muscles flawlessly crafted to depict the effort of the movement, and legs poised to jump, literally leaps at you from the pavement of TTK Road! Crafted by mastercraftsman L. Radhakrishnan, in single casting, the masterpiece reflects the apogee of perfection achieved by the traditional bronze casters of Tamil Nadu.

Just opposite, at Sri Sankara Stall, a collection of Radhakrishnan's impeccably crafted and conceived bronze icons are on display along with works of craft from all over the country. Brought together in an exhibition cum sale by the Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Welfare Association, Srushti, the exhibition, showcases some rare examples of Madhubani paintings and Jaipur's miniature art as well as brass `kuthuvilakkus,' bell metal artefacts, ceramics, Thanjavur paintings, metal and stone craft, wood cuts, walnut, neemwood and sheeshamwood furniture and so on.

As compelling as the bronzes are Venkatesh's finely crafted and painted neemwood pieces, which include a beautiful three feet Nandi, `yaali' centre tables and pretty wall brackets. The colours used are mellow and muted and the carving is excellent. Madhubani wall hangings on cloth treated with cowdung and done in vegetable dyes which feature typical folk figures and mythology are other attractions at the All India Handicrafts Fair. Khurja pottery in attractive colours and contemporary shapes are a great attraction at the Crafts Fair. Soft stone icons and artefacts and terracotta items are also on display along with block printed textiles from Rajasthan and Gujarat and moderately priced Beneras saris. The discerning furniture buff can pick up the odd `accent' woodcut neem furniture piece or choose from a large variety of Kashmir's walnut furniture.

The Fair ends on February 6, at Sri Sankara Hall, 267, TTK Salai, Alwarpet. — P. C.


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