Where past and present collide

South India’s prominent artists are exhibiting their works at the Thanal Art Gallery in Thiruvananthapuram 

author_img Aathira Haridas Published :  07th January 2022 12:50 PM   |   Published :   |  07th January 2022 12:50 PM
Thanal Art Gallery

South India’s prominent artists are exhibiting their works at the Thanal Art Gallery in Thiruvananthapuram 

KOCHI: In the frame, a door opens into the past. Nostalgia comes knocking as you peer into the crack. Beyond it, there is a house that oozes an old-world charm. Its many stories are intact and remind you of the days long gone. Created in mixed media and wood, the artwork by K R Santhana Krishnan is a reminder of everything past — the culture, house and doors you could come across in South India.

For Santhana, his art is all about doors. This theme has been with him since his college days. Santhana has never delved into any other subject. “I have lived in a house that had 84 doors. Every door is an emotion and has a character. It is all about nostalgia and you are taking a peek at the time that went by. It brings back memories for me,” says Santhana, an artist from Tamil Nadu.

‘Dreams of Desire’, an exhibition at Thanal Art Gallery in Thiruvananthapuram, is an amalgam of vibrant hues, patterns, textures, themes and abstract thoughts. Doors that open into the past, arts that capture the present, landscapes, vibrant forms and so on are at the centre stage.

If it is doors that are screaming at you at one side, there are trees on the other. Created with a vibrant flourish, artist Bhaskara Rao Bocha calls it The Tree of Life. It is inspired by the trees he encountered in his life. You may not come across these trees in real life as they carry the artist’s impressions. This Hyderabad based artist’s palette is different. He uses thick pigments for his paintings. For him, the tree is the elixir of life and his art is an ode to them. 

“Art is an expression of spontaneity. The tree is a predominant theme in my work. They give us everything, but we don’t do anything to protect them. Every tree is different. I get inspired by the trees I encounter and add my perspective to them. So, I can never paint a replica of any of my paintings,” says Bocha.

Sachin Jaltare says he tries to portray the self through his paintings. His is a quest to explore the infinite space inside the self. “Everything is inside us and is complete in itself. Space is not just around us. There is a vast space inside you and I try to portray that with the self,” says Sachin.

The gallery belongs to R S Babu, an artist himself. According to Babu, it has been set up as an avenue to celebrate art. “Though we have galleries in the city, most of the time they are booked. It is hard to hold exhibitions. Having my own space helps me conduct exhibitions whenever I wish. I have envisioned it as a space which will let artists come and explore their art,” says Babu. 

Popular culture is seen in the work of Sajid Bin Amar, an artist from Hyderabad. “I capture the popular lifestyle and city’s development and so on. My art is closer to daily life and includes elements we observe daily. I don’t think paintings necessarily have to make a social comment,” says Sajid. The exhibition features the works of 15 artists from South India and is on till January 15.

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