Colours of India, the painting exhibition on at the Kanakakkunnu palace, showcases the diverse cultures and geographical rarity of the nation in colourful combinations. Paintings by 21 artists from various parts of India displayed at the venue bring to the centre stage the creative excellence of veteran and novice hands alike. Each work, conceived in a modernist perspective, has abundantly explored the possibilities of shades and textures.
Ranging from heavily ornate and mysterious to simple and suave, each canvas remains distinct and unique in its own way. An abstract painting of a pubescent nude girl worshipping God, set against a dim background, brings to the fore a rare custom prevalent in the remote areas of North India. Suresh Kannan, the artist, has well narrated the practice without exaggerating obscenity in the image of women.
A collage by Gita with the santhi mantra “Om Sahana Vavathu” emblazoned on it emphasises the importance of enlightenment, synergy, peace and nourishment in human life. Seven images accompanying the lines deftly convey the meaning of each line including the symbol of ‘Om’.
Another work depicting a meditating Buddha in the middle of a peepal leaf and a bunch of leaves hanging above on one side brims with the elegance and tranquility of spirituality. Art has also appeared the theme for some paintings. The painting of a boy, sitting cross-legged playing a musical instrument takes the viewer to a meditative mood of musical ecstasy.
Another work by artist Radhika shows the serene landscape in a hilly countryside. The lush greenery and the pacific rivulet flowing is worth a gaze. Varghese Punaloor’s knife work capturing the houseboat service in the Champakulam river and the surrounding geography has well portrayed a Kerala village.
“As we bring together artists from various corners of the country, the exhibition aims to articulate the diverse culture of the nation through art. A different style can be seen in each work displayed here”, says J Sasikumar, Chairman of the Society for Protection of Cultural Heritage.
A majority of works belong to artists from Chennai, Cholamandalam, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore.
‘M F Hussain’s Horse’, Sunil Das’s charcoal work, surrealistic expressions of Muthu Koya, abstract paintings of K Damodaran, J Sasikumar’s works revealing the intricacies of figurative abstracts, collage works of Kashmiri artist Ifthikar Jafar, beauty of tantric painting captured by Haridas, Menaka Suresh’s mural paintings based on Ramayana, Shyama’s captivating depictions of Kashmir Valley, geometrical abstracts by Ajay Chakradhar and works of Paris Viswanathan, artist Babu, Vijayakumar and Santhi Sivaram are the highlights.
The exhibition is jointly organised by Society for Protection of Cultural Heritage, Shangri-lla Art Gallery and the Department of Tourism, Kerala on the sidelines of the Nishagandhi Festival underway.
It will conclude on Thursday.-