Insights from art and archetype

Artist Sujil explores the idea of symbolism in art and how in the throes of darkness, it becomes a coping mechanism
Insights from art and archetype

CHENNAI: Art speaks the language of the soul. Every creation transforms into a testament to the enduring power of art to heal, inspire, and unite us all. Throughout history, from primal strokes on cave walls to the pixels of contemporary digital art, humanity has sought art to express and connect. A captivating example of this is Sujil, an artist, who appreciates the transformative nature of life in his creation.

‘Whispers of Wonder’ is an artistic collection by Sujil on display at Apparao Galleries, which was inaugurated on Thursday.

This exhibition is steeped in cultural symbolism and tradition to create visual masterpieces that embody life, love, and transformation. Inspired by Paul Coelho’s ‘Eleven Minutes’, Sujil explores the character of Maria as a sacred archetype and intertwines it with the resilience and empowerment of the Egyptian Goddess Isis, which encapsulates the themes of divine transformation and the celebration of the feminine spirit.

Loss and renewal

The artwork emphasises the resilience and beauty of life after a crisis, featuring dancers adorned with Isis Wings. Sujil incorporates elements from his surroundings in Kerala and the concept of the torana, merging cultural symbolism with his artistic vision. “I am from Palakkad and I draw inspiration from the lush vegetation around me. The natural beauty here is a visual delight and much like in my paintings, my studio is a vibrant space through which I keep my artistic spirit alive through variousmanifestations,” shares Sujil.

Personal growth often emerges from life’s most challenging experiences. This sentiment echoes in Coelho’s ‘Eleven Minutes’. Sujil acknowledges the cathartic nature of art, describing a personal experience of loss where creation became a necessary outlet for grief. “I remember the time when I lost my mother. My response was to head to my studio, gather my art supplies, and dive into my work. It was my way of channelling grief and navigating through the turmoil,” he says.

Each artwork springs to life under his masterful brushstrokes, revealing significant narratives. “Translating one’s vision from mind to canvas is often the ultimate challenge for an artist, yet Sujil achieves it with striking awe. The detailing in each piece is unique and harmoniously woven together,” says Niya, an art enthusiast.

Indian culture honours women as divine beings and nurturers. The “wings” portrayed in Sujil’s artwork symbolise the essence of women’s empowerment. Through this imagery, he pays homage to the feminine, recognising women as caregivers, guardians, and trailblazers. Sharan Apparao, proprietor of Apparao Galleries, observes, “Sujil’s ability to address women’s issues and femininity through such creative means is truly brilliant. While the accessibility of public art offers a challenge, this exhibition serves as a powerful platform for personal expression. Recognising artists like Sujil who explore these themes through their work is crucial.”

For Sujil, creativity springs from his connection to the world around him. “When you’re truly passionate about your craft, inspiration can come from anywhere — not just books, but from everyday experiences. I find myself drawn to movies, where characters and settings leave lasting impressions that resonate in my paintings,” Sujil explains.

Looking ahead, Sujil expresses a desire to push his artistic boundaries. He aspires to discover new creative styles and techniques and hopes to spread insightful messages through his art.

The artworks will be on display till July 13.

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The New Indian Express