Nature’s soul on canvas

Depiction of the Inmost Soul, an exhibition of works by seven artists, is underway at the capital city
Pics: B P Deepu
Pics: B P Deepu

A rare mix of real and abstract, a vibrance of colours and lack of it, of hope and devastation. This is what ‘Depiction of the Inmost Soul’, the ongoing exhibition at the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi Art Gallery in the city is all about. The exhibition that features seven artists from the state offers a stark reminder of the times and transports one into a land of colours, poetic beauty and annihilation.

The works of artists G Unnikrishnan, Bhadran Karthika, Antoney Mukhathala, Chithra, Paranavam Sreekumar, Mohana Subrahmani and Shameer Haripad have been featured at the exhibition. The paintings, though created by many artists, talk about human beings and their connection with nature. Shameer Haripad who has exhibited three of his works in acrylic medium says that his work encapsulates the relationship between human beings and nature. The pandemic is also reflected in the paintings. “We depend on nature and nature in turn protects us. So I tried to bring in that element of coexistence,” says Shameer. The issues of farmers and the exploitation of nature are also depicted in his works. “I intend to make my art conveyable to the people. There should not be any mystery,” he adds. 

Meanwhile, Mohana Subrahmani’s art talks about the changes happening in the real world, politics and motherhood. Nature looms large in the exhibition and so does the degradation of nature by humans. “We are related to nature but nature is subjected to a lot of exploitation by humans. This is depicted in my art. I bring the abstract and reality elements into my art. I have evolved a language for my art,” says Pranavam Sreekumar who has used the knife and brush technique to create his art. 

Artist Chitra who has exhibited four of her paintings talk about loneliness, hope and women-centric issues. Antoney Mukhathala’s paintings talk about varied themes such as love, familial bonding, farmer issues and so on. “I do not complicate my work and ensure that it gets communicated to the public well. There are no confusions in my paintings and that is a deliberate effort to ensure that the public can easily connect with it,” says Antoney who draws inspiration from real life. 

Meanwhile, Bhadran Karthika’s palette has only the colours of decay. Having brought in the 3D effect, Bhadran’s paintings talk about annihilation and how nature is getting degraded. Animals and birds such as cats, hornbills and eagles become mute spectators as they hope for a long lost land of greenery. Life and nature on the verge of annihilation are being depicted. “It is a depiction of how the present generation of ours, including us, isn’t keeping anything for the future generation. Everything is getting annihilated. So I have used only burnt sienna, burnt umber and black in the paintings,” says Bhadran. The drawings of Unnikrishnan which is an amalgam of life as it flows are also exhibited. The exhibition will conclude on Wednesday.

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