In unique tribute, Vettom artist carves Ezhuthachan figure in Malayalam letters

The sculpture was crafted robustly from concrete, standing at a height of 92cm and spanning 65cm in width.
Shibu giving final touches to his Thunchathu Ezhuthachan sculpture
Shibu giving final touches to his Thunchathu Ezhuthachan sculpturePhoto | Express

MALAPPURAM: Shibu Vettom, an artist from Pariyapuram in Vettom panchayat, has carved a special sculpture as a tribute to Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan. As there is no definite image of Ezhuthachan available for a sculptor to use as a model, the artist used the four letters of the word “Malayalam” to create the sculpture.

That is how sculptor Shibu aims to present the father of the Malayalam language to the world. The first letter ‘Ma’ forms the head of the figure while ‘La’ and ‘Ya’ form the torso. ‘Lam’ was carved in a way depicting Ezhuthachan sitting cross-legged.

Shibu says he has been working on the sculpture for the past three and a half years.

“I completed the sculpture a couple of days ago. As there is no definite image of Ezhuthachan to create his sculpture, I used my imagination to create one. Many in the younger generation are not fond of reading, and they are unaware of ‘Adhyatma Ramayanam Kilippattu’ and ‘Mahabharatham Kilippattu.’ A child watching this sculpture will never forget who the father of the Malayalam language is and will be inspired to learn more about Ezhuthachan,” he says.

The sculpture was crafted robustly from concrete, standing at a height of 92cm and spanning 65cm in width.

Shibu wishes to install the unique sculpture at ‘Thunchan Parambu’ (Thunchan Memorial Trust and Research Centre) in Tirur, where Ezhuthachan was born. However, he is yet to get the approval of the Trust authorities.

“If I get permission to install the sculpture at Thunchan Parambu, I will further beautify the figure and hand it over to the Trust,” Shibu says.

He has been running the Chithrakam Art Gallery near his home, immersing himself in painting, sculpture, and handcraft experiments. He walso teaches the arts at the gallery.

“I also conduct camps at schools where I share my knowledge with students. I often convey to them that everything in this world has its value. We have the ability to transform items we consider waste or useless into something beautiful. I never encourage them to use plastic. Rather, I always ask them to protect our environment,” says Shibu, who worked as art director in the 2023 movie ‘Neethi’.

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