Art pauses time in north Chennai

The Madras Day artwork edition includes a set of four art prints of prominent places in north Chennai.

Published: 18th August 2021 06:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th August 2021 06:34 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: When we met marine engineer-turned-artist Manavalan in 2017, on the sidelines of an art exhibition, he reflected on his equation with art as something that elevated him to a mystic realm. Now, as we catch up with him about his latest Madras-themed series, he says that musings continue to dot his life and nothing has changed. “Art continues to tuck me into a meditative state. It calms me and helps me translate my thoughts, through strokes and colours,” shares the 59-year-old, who after over a decade of working as a marine engineer quit the sea life and turned to his passion.

Life has come full circle for the creative, it seems. He points to a pen-ink and watercolour artwork — of the sea, seafarers busy at work, the sky, magnificent with its myriad hues; several boats dotting the sea, nets being prepared for the day’s catch. “As part of the Madras month celebrations, Vincent D’Souza (editor, Mylapore Times, and one of the founders of Madras Day) reached out to me to create artworks themed on places that hold significance in Madras; the focus was on north Madras. This artwork, of the Kasimedu fishing harbour, is one of the pieces I created as part of the offering. While working on this piece, I was often reminded of my time at the sea. I enjoy the intimate connections that art enables us to make,” he shares.

The Madras Day artwork edition includes a set of four art prints of prominent places in north Chennai.The 192-year-old St. Peters Church in Royapuram, Sri Thyagrarajaswamy Temple in Thiruvottiyur and the Railway Station in Royapuram (Where the first train of South India started operating in 1856) too find a place in the collection. “I used photographs as references to bring out the different elements of the structures and the scenes around it with precision. I enjoyed working on the Thyagarajswamy temple piece the most… especially the edifice’s gopuram. I felt like I was one with the sculptures and carvings,” he shares.

The art prints have been digitally rendered by him. “People often have the notion that digital art is easy to create. But, it’s equally challenging. For instance, line sketches which usually take a few hours on paper took me a few days, while I was working on this series. Mediums and art forms shouldn’t be pitted against one another. What we have to take notice is of the labour that goes behind creating these pieces,” he says.

To purchase and for details, mail or visit Facebook page @MadrasDay.View Manavalan’s works @ManavalanMaanav on Facebook


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