Painting a cause

Preetha Kannan’s latest series, which is on display at Apparao galleries, draws heavily from forests and is a celebration of earth

Published: 26th November 2012 08:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th November 2012 08:54 AM   |  A+A-


Gala, a solo exhibition by Mumbai-based artist Preetha Kannan at Apparao Galleries, Chennai is a celebration of earth- as one of the five elements. After having worked closely with activists like Baba Amte and Medha Patkar, it was hard for her to snap the ties with social cause, even after the switch to full-time painting.

Preetha Kannan, an alumna of Stella Maris, Chennai, and College of Arts and Crafts, combines mediums – the computer, canvas and photography.

“Having worked with projects involving water-shedding in Madhya Pradesh, I have a permanent link with social causes,” she says.

Gaia takes influences from Jim Corbett National Park, Bandavagarh National Park and Bhadra. “I travelled across these places to take inspirations,” says the artist, who explored seamless forests and plain landscapes for creating the exhibits.

With tones of reality and a detailed use of dots and shades of black, Kannan’s works are a combined effect of layers of details, adding a sense of perception to the paintings.

Alongside a detailed presentation of untouched woods in black and white, a mystical vignette of colours adorns the other side of the gallery, bringing to the fore the range  and detail intrinsic to the  artist’s body of works.

The artist says that today’s art is contemporary, and that it is hard not to allow the influence of technology even on painting. “I don’t think there is anything wrong with the influence of technology. It only adds more features and elements to the works,” she says.

Kannan’s next series of work will present the vanishing mangroves in the Indian scenario. Travelling extensively again, through Chidambaram’s Pichavaram area, the artist is yet again on a spree to tap reality for inspirations. “Even in a big city like Mumbai, you can see this happening. Right in front of my residence at Versova, I noticed a strip of mangrove, which is fast vanishing. That again, is inspiring to me,” she adds.

Gala is on at Apparao Galleries till December 8.


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