THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Art D’ Hope has chosen to celebrate ‘Helen Keller’, by presenting an exhibition of paintings on her at the Le Meridien, Kochi. Incidentally, Helen (1880-1968) was an American author and political activist. She was also the first visually and hearing-impaired person to earn a bachelor of arts degree.
For the exhibition, Art D’ Hope has tied up with artists groups Palette People and XakBox Design.
Among the thirteen paintings, the highlight is ‘The Advocate - A tribute to Helen Keller’, a 10 ft. x 7 ft. acrylic on canvas. In the background, eventful incidents in Helen’s life has been shown, including a meeting with Indian Nobel Prize winner Rabindranath Tagore. At the foreground is the figure of Helen touching a flower next to her with her left hand, while balancing a book on her lap with her right hand. The flower is embossed so that visually-impaired people can have a feel of the image. “This painting is part of our mission to help the visually-impaired, especially the students,” says George M Soni, Public Relations Officer, Art D’ Hope.
Since this project required months-long research and dedication, many artists were roped in. These included Sumesh K Shanmugham, who provided the art direction, while artists like Ameen Khaleel and Anoop M V have done the sketches and paintings.
The main aim behind the show is to spread awareness among the population. “Art can make a difference, and that is the message which we are trying to impart,” says George. Besides, the Foundation also wants to raise funds to provide laptops and study materials to the students of a blind school in Aluva. The various methods adopted for fund-raising, include crowd funding, as well as the sale of printed and copies of original art pieces.
The exhibition ends on July 15.