Campus whirled

The art show by students of the College of Fine Arts touches upon myriad topics - human psyche, animals and nature.

Published: 15th June 2022 05:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th June 2022 05:53 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Images of people in their everyday habitat - sometimes laying on the floor lost in deep thoughts, reading a newspaper leaning back on a chair, piggybacking a child - welcome visitors at the College of Fine Arts gallery building in Thiruvananthapuram. Around 11 such life-sized figures made using old newspaper and glue reflect the artistic expressions of final year BFA sculpture student Sandra Thomas. 

The impact of consumerism on the state, the shallowness of a brand-conscious society  - all such relevant cultural threads are reflected in her installation. Apart from Sandra, the building, which has hosted the annual graduate art show, has ideas and thoughts of nearly 44 students learning painting, sculpture and applied arts at the college. After the lull brought in by the pandemic, the show was a great way for budding artists to get back in touch with the idea of exhibiting their art. 

A few of the striking installations have been made using mixed mediums - a wooden hand holding a bandicoot rat by its tail, a wasp nested on an abandoned computer motherboard and a two feet long millipede. The creations of Sabhin S S reveal caste politics and discrimination in the society while Jinto Bijo has focused more on nature - like his painting Kulam, which shows an aerial view of a country side pond made using oil on canvas.

Applied Art students have used a mix of illustrations, fonts and posters. According to the college principal Manoj Vyloor, the exhibition is an informal way for the students to learn about interpretations and criticism. “The students missed their degree show in the last two years due to the pandemic. This year’s show opens a window into what happens in the college and the talent of students here. Though this is a learning experience for them, I feel the lack of continuous offline classes has affected their skills to an extent,” he says.

Of humanity and more
Sandra’s untitled installations take a deep look into the human psyche. She envisaged the figure during the lockdown days when she was at her home in Kottayam . The figurines have been made by folding newspapers and mesh and then adding colourful dresses and masks to them - a representation of the post-pandemic lifestyle. They have been placed at corners of the gallery, and are a reflection of consumer culture, according to Sandra. “I have tried to address the existence and influence of consumerism through a ‘pop’ perspective. I chose industrial materials like metal, wire, mesh, newspaper, paper pulp and  cardboard etc and paired them with toy making and stitching techniques. I have been practicing those since I was a kid. Masks are not just a representation of the pandemi. Rather, it is a product of the healthcare industry that has infested our lives,” she adds.

She believes the faceless images can convey emotions and non verbal communication is possible through body postures. Sandra has used recyclable materials for her work. The young artist wants to create more pieces using cheaply available materials, to spread a message of sustainability. Another one of her works, titled 105 Kazhchakal, is made using paper pulp and plaster of paris. The installation is around eight feet long, and depicts various instances from her life - hostel, campus and pets. “My goal is to become an artist who creates eco-friendly artworks,” she adds.     


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