KOCHI: It would seem that his 11-year-old daughter Theertha’s suggestion, that he use his artistic skills and creativity for a greater cause, was just the inspiration Theyyam photographer and artist Ratheesh Koliyat needed. Ten painstaking days of hard work later, the 39-year-old had sculpt the charming Vishnumoorthy Theyyam, which he has decided to put up for auction for the cause of those struggling in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The plan is to contribute the amount he receives to the Chief Minister’s Distress Relief Fund (CMDRF).
“I have seen many people, including daily-wage labourers, contributing their savings to the CMDRF. So, I decided to use my own skills to raise some funds as well,” said Ratheesh, who hails from Puthur in Kannur district. “I used cement to make the sculpture, and enamel, acrylic, silver colour paints and colour papers for the theyyam’s face writing. It weighs around 15kg,” he said.
He chose Vishnumoorthy theyyam, one of the most popular theyyams in Malabar, due to many reasons. “It is stunningly ornate. It’s face is a vivid orange with wide eyes sunken in black pits. The red spider web-like design across the face adds further beauty to it,” he said.
As an ardent follower of the art of Theyyam, Ratheesh could grasp the finer details to recreate the face. Now, he hopes a prominent personality takes notice of the uniqueness of his art piece and the cause behind it. “I will contribute the amount obtained through the auction, whether it be `1 or `1 lakh, to the CMDRF. I hope it will be auctioned for a good price as it’s for a public cause,” he said. In fact, Ratheesh, who is also a cricketer and represented top clubs in Kannur, wishes the ‘god of cricket’ would take notice. “Sachin Tendulkar is god to me. It will be an honour if he notices my art,” he said.
Helping people is not new to the dynamic individual. Ratheesh also dons the hat of a motivational speaker to students and claims to have taken over 1,000 sessions for young minds. He has also scripted and directed documentaries including ‘Synkol’.