KOCHI: Has the pandemic sounded the death knell for the art industry? Will art enthusiasts, artists and buyers throng exhibitions and art auctions? Yes, but not anytime soon. While Covid-19 has dimmed the prospects for the art world, many could not bear to stand by and watch. Kerala-based award-winning artist Sunil Linus De was one of them.
He gathered 41 artists of international repute and began AIR – Art Imagination-Reloaded, an international online group exhibition of watercolour paintings which was inaugurated on August 25 by Bose Krishnamachari, president of the Kochi Biennale Foundation. While several artists have delved into mixed medium or ventured into oil or acrylic, this exhibition will feature Wet Palette, a community of watercolour artists, founded by Sunil himself.
Artists from this community will feature their paintings on August 26. “Watercolour has always been a well-loved medium. I decided to exhibit some of the excellent works by the artists under one umbrella. While they contributed around two to three frames, I’d curated the most pleasant-looking ones from the lot. The pandemic has left many of us in a dark space and these paintings are sure to uplift us. Many will also be inspired to take up the brush and begin painting,” says Sunil, who has showcased his work at the exhibition too.
The online exhibitions premiered on Wet Palette’s Facebook page and on YouTube, and will be available for viewing at any time – the biggest advantage of online exhibitions. “The featured artists also helped in campaigning and promoting the event two weeks in advance. I hadn’t given any theme. Instead, the artists were asked for a work which can instil instant joy in the viewer. The response was great,” says Sunil. One of the artists, Aneesh V P, added that the exhibition was initially intended to be held at the Durbar Hall in April but the pandemic moved the same online. “We adapted to the situation in time. The online exhibition could also be shared with people who may not be able to attend the same in person if it was held in Kochi,” he said.