KOCHI: Conjuring up an image from a verse under a different penmanship is no easy task. Envisioning the trail of thought or the cluster of ideas of another mind the exact way is near to almost impossible. Artist V K Sathyan, an admirer of the late poet A Ayyappan, has marked his first solo exhibition, ‘Retinayil Pathinja Kazchakal’, commemorating the poet’s eighth death anniversary.
Characterised by minimal sketches, Sathyan’s artwork lacks the colour and exuberance one would imagine constitutes work based on poetry. When questioned about his minimalist approach, Sathyan quips, “I haven’t felt that Ayyappan’s poems are colourful; therefore I can’t flood a painting with colours. My sketches are based on the thematic images found in Ayyappan’s poems; he had intensified meanings and symbols in his poetry. Also, I’ve wanted to mark him through a unique manner.”
Unlike other exhibitions that add elaborate descriptions beneath the artwork, Sathyan’s lacks any. The artist is indeed aware that having based his art on poems, viewers unfamiliar to Ayyappan aren’t likely to perceive the sketches. “I have decided to not include titles along with my sketches. People who have read Ayyappan’s poems could recognise a poem by the art. The other viewers can view them as mere sketches.” Sathyan says.
Albeit, perceptions are relative and the audience could interpret his sketches in a different manner. “That does not matter,” Sathyan says. “The duty of a painter ends after his work is complete. It cannot be translated into language. People can observe the sketches and deduce the theme in the manner they wish to. Visual signals received from paintings can vary from person to person. Nevertheless, painting in itself is a language,” he says. Sathyan also feels that a poem can never be painted in its fullest context. “The mind forms images when one reads a poem. These images are put together and processed in an artist’s mind which is then transformed into sketches and paintings,” he adds.
The exhibition, which began on October 28, will be on at Durbar Hall Art Gallery till November 4.