KOCHI: Kannur International Airport(KIAL), the state’s fourth international airport, is unique in a way. For unlike any other airport, its walls would be adorned by murals depicting the story of the district.
A team of artists led by Saju Thuruthil, head of the Fine Arts Department of Sree Sankaracharya Sanskrit University, has already created a gigantic mural of Vishnumoorthi theyyam. At 60-ft height and 80-ft across, it is the world’s biggest mural and has brought the airport recognition in the world of art.
Saju said the mural has been made using cement, copper and aluminium. “It took us four months to finish the project. The managing director of the airport had held talks with the varsity’s Vice-Chancellor on the project,” he said.
At first, the team submitted a sketch of the theyyam sporting tusks, but officers of KIAL didn’t want anything scary, said Saju. “So we removed the tusks and began work on the mural,” he said.
The aim was to present something integral to Kannur, he said. “The canvas provided to us was huge. So, we started off by making a base of concrete and then did the relief of the theyyam in cement.
The concrete is 3-inch thick. The ‘gold’ jewellery of the theyyam was made using copper while the cowrie strands and other silver-coloured ornaments were made using aluminium,” he said.
There efforts have paid off as the finished work looks realistic and easily captures the attention of visitors.
“The varsity’s Fine Arts Consortium took up the project. The consortium takes up such projects from time to time to help students get a hands-on experience in creating beautiful pieces of art,” he said.
“The work earned us Rs 20 lakh of which 20 per cent went to the university. A portion of the money was given to the students. The aim is to give students exposure to big projects and artworks,” Saju said.
Another project approved
Another mural, which tells the story of Kannur, was submitted by Saju and his team and has been approved by KIAL. “This mural will be 3,000-ft long. The rough sketch was approved by KIAL. We have been asked to do the work off-site,” Saju said. The mural will showcase the district’s importance in the state’s political, geographical and business history.
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“Kannur is where the cakes were first made commercially. The beedi factories sparked political thoughts,” he said. Saju said this project is worth Rs 20 lakh. “However, we are yet to receive a final word. Once we get it, we will set the ball rolling,” he said.
AI’s Abu Dhabi-bound flight signals commencement of ops
Kannur: Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu jointly flagged off the first flight, Air India Express’ Boeing 737, from the Kannur International Airport at 10 am on Sunday. The Abu Dhabi-bound aircraft started rolling through the runway at 10.07 and took to the sky with 185 passengers at 10.13 am.
‘More airlines to operate from Kannur airport’
Kannur: Spice Jet will start services to Bengaluru and Hyderabad from Kannur from Monday, said Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey. Indigo may also start services to Mumbai and Delhi from Monday, he said. In the coming months, Air India’s four flights will start operations to Muscat and Doha and three flights will start operations to Riyadh. Flights from Delhi to Dubai and Sharjah will be redirected through Kannur to the benefit of the people of Kannur.
A moment of pride and glory
Kannur: It was the successful culmination of a long wait for the district’s people. Hundreds of thousands, many of them families, turned the airport and its precincts into a venue of festivity. Indeed for them, it was a moment of pride and glory. CM Pinarayi Vijayan told the gathering Union Minister Suresh Prabhu was impressed by the heavy turnout which he termed the government’s strength.