THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Slain social activists Gouri Lankesh, M M Kalburgi, Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar look down on from the walls as one steps into the room exhibiting the paintings by artist Swathi Jaikumar K at Vylopillly Samskrithi Bhavan. The manner in which these liberal voices were silenced had sent a shiver through the spines of those who care about democracy. If these stalwarts fail to make an impact, one just has to take a look at the fifth picture in the row. Swathi has painted the fifth canvas dark and made it look like a chalk outline from the scene of a crime. A mirror has been kept inside the head portion to reflect the face of the visitor.
Swathi used his skills to convey the pertinent political message. “I was disturbed by the murders of social activists who had been standing up for truth and justice. The exhibition is a pointer to what is in store for humanity. A clear warning to all those who care for life,” said Swathi. He did the paintings within a week for the exhibition titled ‘Mirror’.
The exhibits are made using acrylic as the medium and knife as the instrument. He has deliberately kept the use of the brush to a minimum. The artists said he wanted to represent the social activists symbolically. His works have been characterised by spontaneity and subconscious play. The award-winning artist has showcased some of his previous works. His surrealistic Buddha or a fiery theyyam against a background of a blue sky with clouds reminds of the ingenuity inspired by the works of European artists, Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte.
Swathi was a former trainee cartoonist at The New Indian Express in Kochi in 2007. The artist in him finds art in his surroundings. Patterns formed in crow droppings, pan spit and chewed bubble gum are part of his creative inspiration. Swathi wrapped up the exhibition on Friday.