BENGALURU: Beyond the obvious connotations of the politics of revolution, the name Lenin in Irish means, ‘lover.’ And the young man surrounded by many bamboo installations at the Shanthiroad Studio Gallery, calls himself Lenin for a very good reason.
He loves the earth, the cycle of birth and decay and rejuvenation. He loves how nature’s palette changes with seasons and how the primal elements of earth, wind, fire and water play with each other. His works reflect the drama and the poetry of mushrooms peeking from the earth, lotus fronds floating on ether, bamboo shoots bristling like flames, wild buds about to burst open and monsoon deluge bringing a swollen river into a village in Kerala. And then leaving in its wake, fossilised fish and indescribable gifts from the receding waters.
Lenin has come with his bamboo installations from Wayanad where he works with Uravu, an NGO dedicated to the promotion of naturally resourced art. He cannot converse fluently in English but Surendranath C who runs Uravu and has mentored Lenin, translates and often fills in the gaps.
So we are told, “I am self-taught and not a trained artist. I started working with bamboo over 13 years and my works delve into memories of my childhood in a small village where I saw abundant rain, greenery everywhere, the beginning and the end of cycles and it has all come forth in my work.”
Surendranath adds, “He is a shy, reclusive person...not really well-versed with the ways of the art world.
He is a lonely person like most artists from rural places are...but he is not desperate for recognition and he is not looking for loud applause. For him, his work is enough to keep him happy.”
His creations with polished, twisted burnished bamboo shaped into a myriad manifestations of life are interesting and evocative but who are they targetted at? Considering art too is being packaged today for specific clientele?
Says Surendranath, “We want green architects and designers to take notice of his work because this too represents a certain connectedness to the organic processes of building and creating something.”
Lenin’s work indeed has the unstudied innocence of a village pond or a field run over with wild flowers and when he poses with his works, it is with the diffidence of a child. Surendranath smiles, “He carries a world of fecund memories within. These works represent only a few.”
The show is on till November 1, 2014 at No.1 Shanthiroad Studio Gallery.
For more information on the artist, see www.uravu.net