A picturesque painting of Radhakrishna with a touch of Mughal art style, a modern art form of a peacock merging the music, colours and spiritual beauty of nature, a impressionistic work inspired from Sufi music, seascape and several landscapes adorn the walls of Durbar Hall Art Gallery, Kochi.
The exhibition titled ‘Haritha Swapnangal’ by Sunitha T Rajesh, a member of International Association for Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (AMFPA) showcases nature in vivid shades. “Every stroke of brush is intoxicating to me, whether it is acrylic, oil paint or watercolour. This is my first solo exhibition. But I have been part of group exhibitions held by AMFPA across India and recently in Singapore too,” she says. “I don’t mind the problem with my legs as my friends become my limbs. They take me to the places which could have just existed in my imagination. It is because of them that I understand what it is to swim in a river. They are my motivation and support. They are the true colours of my canvas,” she fondly describes her friends and supporters. Ask her about her favourite work and she replies it is difficult to answer. To her all are dear but she points out a landscape painting and says it was a difficult one, “I use bright colours in almost all my paintings because they spread happiness and green is special since it is the colour of nature.” She says that the best feeling is while painting a picture, not before or after. “Sometimes colours carry me to a different world. I begin painting in a particular style but I don’t know when I start to experiment with it. It feels like a drug taking effect.” Sunitha who belongs to Payyannur adds, “I always feel something is amiss in my works and am never completely satisfied. I want to paint something which has depths and layers that keep on unfolding meanings. My dream is to come up with a work from which you don’t feel like taking your eyes off.” She mentions her daughter who offers her boundless joys and comments, “why should I be sad when people with large and sincere hearts surround me. It’s their love that keeps me going.” Sunitha claims that her biggest critic and supporter is her husband, Rajesh with whom she has been happily married for four years. His criticisms help refine the technique and quality of my paintings. Sunitha adores her mentor and inspiration, who is none other than her brother, Ganesh Kumar, also a polio patient. An artist himself he motivated her to paint with her mouth when her limbs began to give in. On his introduction to art, he says. “I began to draw from loneliness that too in sand. My first canvas was the left over spaces in old text books, the brush from feathers of hen and colours were the governmentsupplied violet tablets.”
He proudly says that Sunitha completed the majority of paintings exhibited within six months. Only a few were done two years ago. He is of the opinion that art and creativity should be brought to the limelight than the disability part. Her other interests include poetry, story writing, listening to ghazals, Hindustani and classical music. She wants to travel, see, feel and experience the places and nature and then pour it on to the canvas. She gratefully thanks all her well wishers and supporters. “It is their blessings and prayers that fills this hall.”