KOCHI: When some of us go on preaching about sustainable development, three artists - Subair M, Ameen Khaleel, and T R Udayakumar - have shown a different way of portraying our way of life on Earth.
Their works are on display at the ‘Continuing Ephemera’ exhibition, organised by the Palette People, at Hotel Le Meridien.
The Alappuzha-based artist Subair uses photographs of streets and markets, and imprints the images of animals and birds, to create a tension between nature and the people.
In one of his works, you can see bats surround a vegetable market. “It depicts the continuous felling of trees, so the bats are roaming around homeless,” says Subair. “Because of the use of strong pesticides in the fields, cranes have moved on to the fish markets to find their prey and fill their bellies. Cows cannot find any shrubs sprouting from the mud, in this concrete world, so they consume posters, pasted on the walls. What a pathetic situation, how cruel are we humans!”
As for Ameen, he uses digital and video images in his paintings. A striking work is of a child and a dog sitting next to each other. However, in the middle, there is a cage. The title is, ‘Who is in?’
Both have exhibited their works, in countries like Norway and Finland. Subair is also a writer who published two books of social criticism called ‘Nano Kathakal’. He has also proved his talent as an actor by acting in many Malayalam movies like ‘Of The People’, ‘Bhramaram’, ‘Pakarnnattam’, and ‘Pullipulikalum Aankuttiyum’. Interestingly, Subair and Ameen run ‘Kream Korner Art Cafe’ at Allapuzha. “It is a platform for contemporary artists,” says Subair. “We also organise exhibitions and various type of events.”
As for the third artist, Udayakumar, he focuses on how each man is bothered only about his selfish needs. A man, painted like a tiger, lies on the ground, facing a dry vineyard. “What I want to say is that he is not at all bothered about the happenings around him,” says Udayakumar. “He is living in his own dream world and absorbed with his self.” In another work, titled ‘Haunting Insights’, the same tiger-painted men are sitting on a dilapidated boat. “This too depicts the egoistic attitude of human beings, even when their boat is about to sink or their life is coming to an end,” says Udayakumar.
In the work, called ‘Chakoram’ Udayakumar portrays the crow pheasant, which is on the verge of extinction in the villages. He has used charcoal and acrylic paints on tea-washed papers.
Udayakumar was the former Executive Committee Member of the Kerala Lalithakala Akademy. His paintings have been exhibited in 33 group shows and 10 solo shows. He has designed covers for more than two thousand books of renowned publishers.
The exhibition will conclude on March 15.