Kochi has always evoked mixed emotions for Australian artist Daniel Connell. During Kochi-Muziris Biennale in 2012, a group of miscreants had vandalised his art work at Fort Kochi.But that did not dampen his morale and he responded to the incident with composure.
“You cannot destroy somebody’s artistic quest with such an act. Sure, it is cruel. But, we need to fight back. I decided to redo the portrait in a beautiful way,” he said.
Daniel returned to Kochi on Saturday to bring smiles on the faces of patients of the General Hospital as part of the Kochi Biennale Foundation’s (KBF) ‘Arts and Medicine’ project, which uses art and music to soothe the ailing body and stressed mind. The project is being conducted by the KBF with guidance from Dr Iva Fattorini, Chair, Global Arts and Medicine Institute, Cleveland Clinic in Abu Dhabi, and the district administration.
When Connell walked into the premises of the hospital and settled in the lawn to draw the portrait of a patient, people started gathering around him. Ramuthai, 58, from Madurai was all smiles when he started drawing her portrait.
The entire atmosphere turned tranquil as the artist continued with his work and Pepper Band played music in the background to give a soothing note to the event. Ramuthai is at the hospital for cancer treatment and she had to tonsure her head for the treatment.
Daniel took 20 minutes to complete the portrait. Dr Junaid Rehman, special officer to Kochi Cooperative Medical College, who inaugurated the project said: “We should promote such programmes which provide solace to patients.”