HYDERABAD: Dreams do come true, with a little delay though. And K Krishnamurthy is living his dream at the age of 72. “It was my dream to see at least one of my paintings displayed in a gallery. I always wondered if this could ever happen,” he shares. Two of his paintings are on display at the ongoing exhibition titled Golden Fragrance at the Muse Art Gallery in the city.
Krishnamurthy, who retired after over 38 years from the films division, Information and Broadcast Ministry he discovered his passion for art at an age of 63. He then started learning art, and in an art career of over eight years, he has to his credit over 50 paintings in 10 exhibitions. “It is keeping me busy and I am much healthy now,” he confesses. It is not just Krishnamurthy, but 32 other such senior citizens who have also been living their dream of painting, all thanks to Siri Institute of Painting, a 16-year-old city-based painting institute. This institute has organised a first-of-its-kind art exhibition exclusively for senior citizens, who are students of this institute. The spectrum of participants consists of eminent professionals like retired doctors, engineers, advocates, bankers, business professionals, dancers, housewives and many more.
33 senior citizens are participating in the exhibiton and over 75 paintings are on display. Explaining the purpose of starting the exhibiton, Shivakumari, assistant director, Siri Institute of Painting says, “We want to encourage senior citizens, with a flair for art to come to us and learn their choice of art form. This will help them relax and be at peace after their retirement.”
She further explains, “We start off from basics and push them to express their freedom through the canvas. Usually, senior citizens are a little hesitant with things, so we try and talk to them and help them gain their confidence.”
The paintings on display are inspired from various subjects. Some chose statues from heritage sites, some painted landscapes while some displayed their love for abstract art. “The institute organises outings once in two weeks to either temples or heritage monuments like Golconda Fort, Shilparamam, Ramappa Temple, Warangal and many such places, which act as subjects for our senior citizen students. Many take pictures or make a rough sketch and then get done with their paintings after they return,” she says. Shivakumari further mentioned that 13 artists from the institute also participated in the Chitra Santhe in Bangalore.
Few paintings by G Usha Devi (77), Sheela Dhage (70) and Y Srikrishna (71) depict the heritage very beautifully through their paintings, while knife art and abstract art by Durga Bhagvan were definitely standing out. “It's a nice experience. I completely believe there is no age to learn art. I am myself when I am painting and I enjoy immensely,” says G Usha Devi,77, an art enthusiast and a participant at the exhibition. She further says, “I have been painting continuously for the last 10 years and everyday, there is something to learn. I always make use of opportunities my way, attend and conduct many workshops.” And ask her if her family supports her, she quickly replies, “They are so proud of me and they support me a lot.”
Another participant, Durga Bhgavan, 62, expresses, “Women get very bored and lonely after they get done with all their family responsibilities. And, if you love painting, this is refreshing and one can also improve their skills.” She then says that the case is similar for both men and women. “Even for men, after their retirement, they really don’t have much to do. Siri institute has really taken into consideration this very imporatant factor and has helped us live our interest.”
Golden Fragrance exhibition is on till 8 pm today.