Taking an unusual turn

‘UTurn’, the ongoing exhibition at Durbar Hall, showcases the myriad works of 13 artists

Published: 30th October 2013 08:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th October 2013 08:30 AM   |  A+A-

Owing to professional and personal calls these 13 artists took diverse artistic roads and got settled in different shores across the country but when art beckoned they took a U-turn to make a stop in the city. And the culmination of this union is ‘UTurn’ the ongoing exhibition of paintings, prints and sculptures in Durbar Hall Art Centre, that displays myriad contemporary themes and signature styles.

Among the 13 artists, seven are the alumni of the Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit Kalady. “As the show’s title suggests, for all the artists participating in the expo is like taking a U-turn and coming back together. And after the show everyone will go in their separate ways, hence the title ‘UTurn,” says Sreeju Radhakrishnan who has displayed three paintings. His paintings which speaks on the relationship between nature and human beings attempt to create an instance of contradiction, often juxtaposing situations to reflect the irony of the lifestyle humans have conformed into. “We humans change over time but always nature keeps its identity,” the artist observes.

In another untitled piece, the artist has shown the subtle but intense relation of a soldier and peasant woman standing on two sides of Line of Control. “Through this piece I wanted to focus on every individuals’ nature of creating and protecting their own territories,” says Sreeju.

The eight terracotta sculptures of Augustine Varghese are intriguing and thought-provoking pieces which depict the relationship of man and soil. Augustine who admires painter Vincent Van Gogh has done an interesting portrait of Van Gogh incorporating the same style of brush strokes on the portrait as used by the artist. “Van Gogh is a true nature lover and his paintings too are deeply connected to nature and he has been my inspiration for many of my works which are also related to nature,” says Augustine whose ‘Man’, ‘Lady’ and ‘Purdah’ come in the ‘Shelter’ series. Through these works, the artist shows how our human dead body becomes shelter to insects and worms and how purdah becomes a shelter to the ladies. “Soil is a shelter for all living organisms. Small insects leave a thought in our mind about the way they make a shelter. Through my creative works, I wish to express the relationship between man and nature and my motive is to love and protect the nature with empathy,” adds the artist who won the 2009 Kerala Lalithakala Akademi State Award for Terracotta Sculpture.

Vinayathejaswi’s acrylic and charcoal piece titled ‘Paravakal Marathodum, Maram Naranodum Paranjathu’ is like a continuing tale of nature and its rustic beauty which lives in harmony with man and wildlife. “My work is more of a poetic interpretation of nature. This work is not yet finished. I have to do lot more in it. So the next time you see the piece, it will have a different story to tell,” he says.

The two acrylic on canvas pieces of Ajith K Nair titled ‘The first thing’ and ‘Yakshikkam’ tries to look at the feminine ethereality that may seem gothic and characteristically paganistic. Anil B Majmudar’s lithographic pieces where the artist sheds light on the past are another significant works. He has taken simple occurrence from childhood and converted it into visuals showing innocence and tenderness.

Francis Shinil George’s work depicts the present society. In artist’s own words, "I am focusing on the political and socio-political situation of the country. I live in the most congested urban city of Kerala, so my paintings also show its life. While some people sell spirituality in one way, other commoners live by purchasing it. Here everything is business. Through my pieces I portray the city before me, the people around me and the nature around me. Working class section around me are also included in my works.”

The group exhibition will run through Thursday.


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