Portrait of an artist

July 13, 2012 12:00 am | Updated 04:45 am IST

PEOPLE E.Satish, a city-based hearing-impaired artist, has exhibited his works in India and abroad

When E. Satish joined Government College of Arts and Crafts, Chennai, he was the only student in his class to have a physical disability. Because he was hearing impaired he was unable to hear the lectures and he ended up securing the last rank in class. Today, Satish is showing his work in galleries and art shows within and outside the country. One of his paintings has been used for greeting cards brought out by the Quality Circle Federation of India. “As a child, I was not into drawing or paintings. I had never painted or sketched anything until I was 19,” explains Satish through gestures. “It was because of my parents that I pursued a diploma in fine arts.” He went on to secure a first class in fine arts with a distinction at college.

Satish was born with a hearing impairment and studied at The Clarke School for the Deaf in Chennai. He went back to his school and worked there as an arts teacher. Satish now works as a clerical officer in Canara Bank.

From still life paintings to cartoons, Satish experiments with all forms of art. But charcoal sketching, he says, is closest to his heart. “My works are a product of both imagination and reality. When I see people, I take a photo of them in my mind. I recreate it on my canvas afterwards.”

A young mother clutching her child to her chest , two kids from the street sharing a meal, a young boy selling mangoes... every single charcoal sketch tells a story. A lot of them feature old people with wrinkled faces, some worried and some, lit up with smiles. There are also portraits of tribal women and playful village kids.

Satish’s works have been exhibited at Lalit Kala Academy, Chennai, and in shows conducted in India exclusively for hearing-impaired artists (Visual Art for the Deaf) and in England (at Kettering Art Gallery). He also chaired the committee in the second International Deaf Expo in New Delhi in 2010. The expo, which included workshops and performances, saw participants from the U.S., UK, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and other countries.

About 40 of Satish’s sketches and paintings were displayed there and he received an award from Subodh Kant Sahay.

Satish is also actively involved in social welfare activities for the deaf. He has delivered lectures in sign language about Deaf Literacy in various parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and has provided training in the latest trends in banking practices to the Kerala zone hearing-impaired bank employees.


My works are a product of both imagination and reality

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