KOCHI: This is the story of perseverance and determination of an artist, who fought against the Kerala Lalitha Kala Akademi for illegaly labelling her painting as ’sub standard’ to be displayed at its art gallery in Kochi. Shiny Sudheer, an art teacher at Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Tripunithura, fought against the odds and even got the Kerala State Human Rights Commission to intervene in the matter, forcing the authorities concerned to allow her to exhibit her paintings at the Durbar Hall Art Gallery, here.
“My works are not unknown to the Lalitha Kala Akademi as this is not the first time I am conducting an exhibition. My works deal with issues faced by women in our society,” said Shiny. She has been studying and teaching art students for the past 25 years. She has also conducted solo painting exhibitions at Lalitha Kala Akademi galleries in Kozhikode, Thrissur and Kalady.
“I had applied to the akademi on January 1, 2019 for the exhibition dates and was allotted dates from December 26 to 30. According to akademi procedures, the paintings have to be evaluated by a committee two weeks after allocation of dates. After the paintings were rejected, I found out that the decision was taken by a single-man committee, which was very unfair. Therefore, with the permission of the akademi we approached the commission. Following this, the akademi gave me all –clear, to conduct the exhibition on the previously allotted dates,” said Shiny.
Shiny said that her paintings were close to her heart and they were not to be kept within four walls. “The paintings echo the atrocities and mental exploitation faced by women and children in our society. Women are getting raped, discriminated and beaten in our society merely for being born as women. Through my paintings, I want people to see the realities of life,” said Shiny. “Many who had turned up at the gallery had appreciated my works and this means a lot,” she said.