KOCHI: ‘Escape from Covid’, a sculpture made using gold and polymer clay is one of the latest creations of Ganesh Subramaniyam, popularly known as the nano artist of Kerala. The 45-year-old artist who has done more than 50 miniature works till date completed his latest piece on the pandemic in just 20 days while in lockdown. The work, which portrays a running man in a mask equipped with a sanitiser and medicine box breaking the Covid-19 chain, has been crafted by Ganesh on the edge of the eye of a sewing needle. According to artist, the chain constructed out of minute gold particles is thinner than a strand of hair. “Through the work, I wanted to convey that it is possible to escape from the virus by taking the necessary precautions,” he said.
Unlike normal-sized sculptures which are visible to the naked eye, the nano sculptures of Ganesh need to be viewed through a 12x lens in order to gauge all details and appreciate them properly. A goldsmith by profession, Ganesh had ventured into the field of sculpting out of sheer curiosity and interest. “The idea of sculpting minute things struck my mind when I saw a bigger object presented in a smaller size in a magazine. I also realised that big things can look more beautiful when they are made in minute proportions,” he said.
Having had no previous training as a sculptor, Ganesh faced a lot of difficulties in putting his idea into practice. “Even though I was aware of the possibility of making nano sculptures, it took me a lot of time and patience to perfect my art,” he said. His first creation was that of a man and a boat which he had done in 2005. It took him almost six months to finish. The motivation and appreciation he received for his work which resembled the size of a mustard seed pushed him to create more such wonders.
Gold is the main medium Ganesh used in developing miniature models of the Taj Mahal and gods such as Lord Ganesha, Vishnu, Krishna and Jesus. His most challenging work so far has been a number lock he made a few years ago. The work also holds a world record for being the smallest functioning gold code lock ever made. “It uses a three digit combination like normal locks. I was successful with the functionality only in my second attempt. Any slight variation in the alignment can cause the lock to not function properly,” he said. Even if making nano sculptures are less expensive since they require only trace amount of gold, a lot of patience and time goes into making them. “Working continuously also causes significant strain to the eyes. During such times, I take a break and practise yoga and meditation as a source of relaxation,” Ganesh said.