Colourful confluence of creations

K Varma, Shankarlingam, and Dhayanidhi, renowned for their realistic artwork that depicts life, also exhibited their works.
Colourful confluence of creations

CHENNAI: On Sunday, I enter a world of art where creativity knew no bounds, where imagination takes form and where expression is boundless, at Semmozhi Poonga. I stroll past several huge canvases; I am delighted by the sculptures of movies like Aavesham and of Disney characters; I watch my reflection on the multiple glass pieces used to make art; and I am surrounded by art lovers who do not mind loosening their purse strings on artworks that they connect with.

Around 125 artists from different walks of life had displayed their works. Organised by Selvakannan Rathinam of Indian Art Factory, ‘Chennaiyil Oru Oviya Sangamam’ had paintings, from classical to contemporary, challenging perceptions and engaging the senses in profound ways. From sculptures, Warli art, murals of deities, coffee art, and live artwork — almost 1,800 pieces were displayed.

With over 1,200 people visiting the exhibition, Selvakannan was happy with the success of his first outdoor show. “It was organised with the help of my family and friends, who have been in full support of my unidentified talent for the last 34 years. If not for them, I don’t think I would have been able to pull off this show, especially when it was my first outdoor exhibit,” he shares. Selvakannan’s strong pillars were his wife Vijalakshmi and daughter Sharvitha, who also donned the hat of an event manager helped find artists, generate ideas, and advertise.

A former bank employee, Selvakannan’s dreams were realised during the lockdown when he sold paintings worth almost Rs 1.25 lakh. Soon he took the next step, following a visit to Chitra Santhe in Bengaluru, and started the Indian Art Factory to display his works and provide a space for artists looking for one. “Not everyone can travel to Bangalore for an exhibition. As I was an independent artist and not renowned, people refused to exhibit my work in their galleries. So that pushed me to open an art exhibition. Almost 60% of the artists here are women who just started art as a hobby during their free hours and now have set up a small-scale art business. I’m proud to launch so many independent artists here,” he shares.

An artist who follows realism and shades of women in his work, Selvakannan provided a space for artists following different mediums and techniques. Hariharan G from the team ‘Black Brothers’ known for their extraordinary wall paintings on abstract art said, “We get orders from people where they talk about their emotion and we channelise their vision through the form of abstract art.”

Following his viral video of coffee painting, Anand continued to work with coffee as his medium to paint on canvas , and his works on display showed that coffee not just boosts dopamine, it can also be used as a shade of paint. On the other hand, there was Pavithra, who gave up her lucrative IT career to pursue her passion for art. “Although the income doesn’t match my previous job, I find incomparable joy in teaching art classes and I’m glad to have the opportunity to have a stall here,” she says.

K Varma, Shankarlingam, and Dhayanidhi, renowned for their realistic artwork that depicts life, also exhibited their works. “Impressionist artwork is fascinating to work on. I try to portray the soul and emotion of my subjects rather than being precise about their features by using loose brushstrokes and vivid colours. It seems as though I give priority by observing and giving each piece a lively, dynamic quality,” says Elaiyabarathy Viswakarma, an artist who excels in watercolour, acrylic, and oil paints on hyper-realistic and impression art.

After the success of this show, Selvakannan hopes to start art schools, the first of which was launched ten days ago with more than 20 students enrolling. “It’s really important for kids to come out of the digital world. As parents, we all should direct them from the pubg to painting. It is equally important for a child to showcase his talent or have it as a side hobby,” he says.

For his next outdoor exhibition, which is planned for February 2025, he seeks to gain participation from almost 500 global artists to exhibit their talents in Chennai. The show is set to be announced in November 2024.

For details, call: 8122317518, Instagram: @indian_artfactory

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The New Indian Express