TIRUVANANTHAPURAM : A passionate and sensitive artist, Neethu Babu was always captivated by nature. She enjoyed translating the little things in nature into myriad moods onto the canvas. This enigma of life and the inexplicable questions that it often throws at us are explored in her repertoire of works displayed at Museum auditorium.Titled ‘Echoes of Silence’, the exhibition features Neethu’s acrylic paintings which reveal her acute sensitivity towards the understanding of human nature and the waves of the mind. This seems to create responses in the viewer that sometimes lie too deep for thoughts.
Questioning the meaning and purpose of life led Neethu to quit her corporate career in the IT industry and listen to her inner calling. She says, “My interest in art started three years ago. Stress in my personal and professional life led me to find solace in art. I was residing in North America and then thought of shifting to Thiruvananthapuram. But then when I came here, I found myself alone as most of my friends had shifted abroad.”
Silence is the reservoir from which she draws her deepest experiences. She sees herself as a subject as well as the observer on the grand canvas of life. It was during one such time that she happened to join the Sunday painting classes of artist B D Dethan. “What I liked about his classes was he didn’t believe in restricting art and so he never told me to draw or paint something of his wish. He always told to experiment with different themes,” she said. Since then, she has been a full-time painter, pouring her poignancy from her unique perspective on life.
All her work is permeated with layers of light that are a testimony to her faith in hope and the eternal light of the soul. Working in acrylic on canvas, she uses colours and patterns to give her paintings a strong emotional hook and physical presence. Although she has drawn her negative experiences, she has made it colourful instead of painting it in dull colours. Each of her paintings deals with her experiences in life, be it a painting of the Napier Museum or the Shangumugham beach.
“I used to walk a lot. During those walks, I came across themes such as a picture of a ‘weeping willow’ in North America. And another picture of a whale swimming across the southern coast in Shangumugham beach. Here I wanted to depict the image of Shangumugham through my eyes,” says this artist.
Neethu likes to experiment a lot with colours. Most of her works carry with it a stroke of purple, one of her favourite colours. Through these colours, she has tried to portray the bleak picture of society where there is stress, pain, death and how the humans have to fight against these odds. She says, “Being a single mother, art was a healing journey for me.” This is her first solo exhibition. She was part of a group exhibition in 2015 by Kerala Kaumudi in Kanakakunnu Palace. Neethu’s exhibition is on till July 16.