Kerala: Jain, a relentless crusader of deprived children’s rights

A social activist for predominantly children’s rights, his art voices issues of the marginalised.
Artist C D Jain
Artist C D Jain Photo | Express

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Keeping ‘child’ as an exclusive subject, artist C D Jain has been creating art works for the past 27 years. At his 21st solo exhibition, being held at Lalitha Kala Akademi Art Gallery, Vyloppilly Samskrithi Bhavan, he has showcased 21 of his works which have never been exhibited before. Out of this, 16 works were done on canvas and five on paper. The exhibition, which was started on April 27, will conclude on May 3.

A social activist for predominantly children’s rights, his art voices issues of the marginalised.

Born in Parassala, Jain is a 1988 BFA graduate from College of Fine Arts, Trivandrum. He also worked as a guest lecturer at the college for a short period. From his college time, he has conducted art workshops for rural children in different parts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

He is an artist, activist, and child educator, but his passion is teaching. “I will never claim myself as one of the finest artists but definitely as a teacher,” said Jain.

Since 1996, he has been a relentless crusader of deprived children’s rights by fighting against issues of child labour, child abuse, pain and destitute, missing and cheerful children series through his works.

Vignettes of his Madurai life have packed his 27 years per se. “The world is unfair for many, my travel to Madurai has taught me that. To not confine the viewers in the title, the paintings of the series are not named,” said Jain.

The intensity of first-hand experiences saturates his canvases. He has a clarity of the shades to choose and the way to present perhaps makes up the major reason for taking a year to complete two paintings. “Some are created with zero pencils on acrylic, it takes time to deliver,” said Jain. ‘Benign Forest’, a collection on display was done in acrylic and speaks of the man’s communion with nature while the five paintings of his series ‘Destitute Child’ were done with charcoal on paper. The eyes of the children in his pictures are dark, just like how their view of the world is. Though his earlier works were rich in hues and detailing, ‘Destitute Child’ with minimal elements speak a hundred times louder than the vibrant shades of nature paintings.

Jain was also a recipient of the State Forest Department Award in 1986 and the Lalitha Kala Akademi Award in 1987. He was an art consultant of Unicef World Vision and Save the Children India from 2005-2006.

‘Destitute Child’

The eyes of the children in his pictures are dark, just like how their view of the world is. Though his earlier works were rich in hues and detailing, ‘Destitute Child’ with minimal elements speak a hundred times louder than the vibrant shades of nature paintings

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