CHENNAI: In an age where art is mostly restricted to galleries and exhibitions, the general public may find it difficult to access exotic paintings or handicrafts. In an attempt to make art forms enjoyable for everyone, Annett’s Club of Madras Central (part of Rotary Club) in association with World Art Cafe (WAC) has organised a four-day public art fest called Beyond Frames at Nageshwara Rao Park, Mylapore.
The festival which began on Thursday saw an enthusiastic response from the public. Harish Kumar, director, WAC, said, “We wanted to bring art to the public and make it enjoyable. We have workshops and displays by college students; children and adults are a part of demos by experienced artists.”
The park, adorned with installations by students of Stella Maris College, Government Fine Arts College, Don Bosco College of Art and Design and Kanyka Parameshwari College, among other institutions, wore a festive look. Each installation or display has a social message to convey. A papier mache of a man trying to tilt the globe was one of the major attractions in the display arena.
“I wanted to create an art piece that shows how people keep giving excuses and reasons for everything they do. Some literally say ‘I will turn this world upside down and then say But…’ this is an excuse! I made my cousin my model, applied glue and paper over him and made a papier mache of him to get this figure,” said Kamal, creator of the installation.
While every display was three dimensional, there was something on the ground that caught the visitors’ eye easily.
The footprints of a man and woman made out of wax that leads to a park bench. The idea of a fine arts student Tasmeen from Stella Maris College was to give expression to what hundreds of ‘love birds’ wanted to say.
“I wanted to portray a man and woman who come to a park to spend some quality time. But in our country they are usually not accepted; they are mocked, commented on and some even try clicking their picture to embarrass them. I am not saying they are free to be obscene, but just talking and a bit of privacy never harms anyone,” she said.
‘Smoking Kills’, ‘Go green’ and ‘Stop Littering’, were other messages that came through loudly at Beyond Frames. Dry pastel art workshop by Manisha Raju, double-hand painting demo by artist Muthukumarasamy, art talk by Lakshmi Krishnamurthy of Studio Parambarayam and a miniature soap carving workshop by Kandasamy were the major highlights of the festival.
“It’s rare that we get to see such exceptional talents and art work out in the public. Since this fest is open for all and is free, it is accessible to us. My children enjoyed the double and painting demo and were even part of the dry pastel workshop,” said a parent.
(The art festival is on till April 17 between 11 am and 7 pm at Nageshwara Rao Park, Mylapore)