BENGALURU: When most people struggle to paint or draw with their hands, Sunitha Thrippanikkara has excelled in painting vivid canvases of Nature-based themes, using her mouth.
Polio-affected since birth, Sunitha who hails from Kerala started painting as a young girl in class 5 inspired by her brother who is also an artist. “My brother is also differently abled and paints with his mouth,” she says.
Sunitha started painting with her hands but while pursuing her degree studies she gradually lost strength in her hands from her health condition.
“Painting was something that I really loved and I thought I would not be not able to do it anymore,” she says. “It made me extremely sad.”
It was then that her brother suggested that she not give up hope and start painting with her mouth.
“I took his advise and since then I have not looked back,” she says. Sunitha has finished over 3,000 works using her mouth.
Sunitha’s work has been exhibited in numerous venues in her home state, other parts of the country and in one foreign venue, Singapore. “I have had two solo exhibitions, in Ernakulam and the present one in Bengaluru. Everywhere I go people encourage me,” she says.
When asked about her preparation before starting a work and her favourite themes, Sunitha explains: “I love paining Nature as it gives me the most satisfaction. Occasionally, I also work on figures and borders. I use my imagination to paint and visit a site to capture a particular moment.”
She counts Van Gogh and his style of impressionist paintings as a major influence.
Talking about her plans for the future, Sunitha says that she would like to pursue higher studies in modern art and try and inspire the differently abled.
She is a member of the Association Of Mouth And Foot Painting Artists and also work with a number of organisations to help the differently abled. Sunitha’s exhibition titled “Dreams” is presently being showcased at the Karnataka Chirtakala Parishat from November 1 to 4, 2016.