Surreal, magical, visceral
The gallery is hosting a one-month-long exhibition of works by young artists across the state to mark death anniversary of the late artist K P Krishnakumar
Step into the cosy indoors of the AMUSEUM Gallery of Modern Art at Thiruvananthapuram and you will be welcomed by an array of paintings, sculptures and other installations that perfectly blend imagination and creativity, while being thought-provoking.
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The gallery is hosting a one-month-long exhibition of works by young artists across the state to mark death anniversary of the late artist K P Krishnakumar. The artworks by the young talents reflect the notions of the artist who was known for his contemporary art language and was the force behind the Radical Painters and Sculptors Association.
The sculptures and installations have been created by 11 artists — mostly present and former students of the College of Fine Arts Thiruvananthapuram — who have used experimental assemblages and unconventional materials to communicate myriad subjects.
The canvases of Wayanad-native Bineesh Narayanan dip into surrealism, where he paints real human figures who try to find their ‘Home’. The use of soft tones with a mix of textures, including glitters, turns his five canvases into a fairy tale. “I have tried to narrate the philosophy of home in our lives. These are titled as ‘A painting of my people’s journey to an unknown nation’,” he says.
Playing with light and shades using charcoal as a medium is Ratheesh Kumar K S, a former postgraduate student. The artist, with his six paintings, portrays his study of the interior of the houses. Turning art into a tool for their voices are young women artists Sandra Thomas and Dhanya V V, former BFA Sculpture students. Sandra has interpreted the impact of consumerism and brand-conscious society through life-size figures made using old newspapers and glue.
Her untitled works were envisaged during the pandemic lockdown when she was confined to her home in Kottayam. Several human structures made using newspaper folding and mesh, adorned with colourful dresses and wearing masks, are interpreted as humans of today.
“I try to address the predominant existence and influence of consumerism through the ‘pop’ perspective. I choose industrial materials like metal, wire, mesh, newspaper, paper pulp and cardboard and combined them with toymaking and stitching techniques which I learnt as a child. Masks are not just a representation of the pandemic but are also a consumer product from the medical industry which has become part of our life,” she says.
She has also relied on recyclable materials for her work, creating artistic pieces from cheaply available materials from her surroundings. Titled ‘Bunch of People’ is another work made using paper pulp where a total of 120 small human figures are pasted on a plywood board.
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Dhanya V V composed her own trauma and childhood memories into her art installation series titled Gaze. She used cotton threads and wool to knit out the eye-shaped figures to interpret her gaze on society.
Thinking out of the box and giving volumes to his artwork on wood is Midhun J. His work ‘Last Breath’, a tree trunk made into a massive oxygen cylinder, alerts us on forthcoming human hazards caused by deforestation and global warming.