THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Coming from various walks of life, these four self-taught women artists have a single passion - art. The artist group, who call themselves ‘Chaturkaya’, first got to know each other through their art classes where they were learning the basics of painting and drawing. “It was in 2013 that we happened to meet at the Chitralaya School of Arts, Thripunithura. But some of us had to discontinue, but we stayed in touch. And we all wanted to create something of our own. And that led us till here,” says Prabha M, who is a lawyer.
For the creation of any art, there requires an inspiration and for these artists’, divinity is their mother of inspiration. Their aesthetic interpretations can be seen at the ongoing ‘Afflatus’ art expo, at the Durbar Hall Art Gallery, Kochi.
About the title, Manjusha Nair says, “’Afflatus’ means a divine inspiration. Our thoughts are inclined towards God, hence we chose to portray the supernatural presence in our paintings. Ours are a mural painting-inspired creations.”
Unlike the mural wall paintings which uses only five colours, the 19 acrylic on canvas works are vibrant creations of the artists who have depicted the mythological gods and goddesses in their myriad emotions and expressions.
Meera Muralee, who worked earlier in a corporate in the Middle East, has captured the intricate expressions of Lord Krishna and his beloved in one of her paintings, while in another, she has portrayed the scene of ‘Gaurikalyanam’. “I have painted Krishna’s rasaleela in Vrindavan while ‘Gaurikalyanam’ depicts the holy union of Shiva and Parvathy,” says Meera.
Manjusha Nair’s works are a recreation of the god’s avatars and are based on the epic stories. She has deftly painted Lord Krishna’s much-famed conquest, ‘Kaliyamardhanam’, in one painting, while it took her three weeks to finish the painting of ‘Dhanwanthari’, the god of health. Her Malliyoor Ganapathy is also an impressive painting from the collection.
Prabha’s works are a playful mix of bright colours. She has depicted devotion, father-son relations through one of the paintings where she has portrayed Ganapathy hugging adoringly a Shivalinga. In another work, Prabha has drawn Radha Maadhavam, which is an interplay of dark and bright pastel colours. Inspired from folklore is her alluring painting of the idol of the Poornathrayeesa temple.
“There is an interesting story regarding the idol. While working on the sculpture, the main sculptor died leaving behind the final work of the idol. Another sculptor took over, but he too couldn’t finish it and that is why the god’s eyes are closed in the idol. It is believed that the lord is in yoganidra and he knows it all even with closed eyes,” explains Prabha.
Sindhu Prabhakar, a fashion designer by profession, has put on thematic art pieces through her works.
In the Vrindavana Krishna-inspired work she has drawn the illuminating face of the god surrounded by peacock feathers, while in another piece she has portrayed a Krishna-based Kathakali theme. The art exhibition will be on till August 3.