Upcoming art show Kurma is inspired by Lord Vishnu’s second avatar

The exhibition will feature works by 15 artists from across India  

author_img Reshmi Chakravorty Published :  14th January 2022 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  14th January 2022 12:00 AM

Artist and curator Bolgum Nagesh Goud

A group show titled Kurma: A ‘dwitya’ avatar is going to be held in Hyderabad on January 21 and 22. The brainchild of Hyderabad-based artist Bolgum Nagesh Goud, several city-based artists like Bose Krishmachari, Dr Laxman Aelay, Jagadish Chintala, Sachin Jaltare, B Srinivas Reddy and Ramesh Gorjala will be participating. Apart from them, artists from all across India like Ganapati Hegde, Subrata Das, Siddhartha Singade, Vinita Das Gupta, Meenakshi Jha Banerjee, Arpitha Reddy, Bandana, and Bhushaiah will showcase their interpretation of Kurma or the tortoise, the second avatar of Lord Vishnu on fibreglass tortoise sculptures. Talking about the inspiration behind the show, Nagesh says, “As a child, I grew up seeing my elders worship a tulsi plant at home and an elephant being honoured in the temple. These images and practices always fascinated me. Growing to be an artist — the myths, dramas and Indian mythology always influenced my thought process that cascades onto my work. Interestingly Indian practices of worship are very close to nature. Be it worshipping the sun as Surya dev, the tree as Kalpavruksha, the cow as Kamdhenu or the monkey as Lord Hanuman. Visiting the Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad, opened up a window to extrapolate my thoughts on another massive yet gentle creature, the tortoise. However, the tortoises are at risk of extinction unless we act. This very thought was the beginning of my forthcoming show Kurma that will showcase the works of the artists with passion towards conserving nature.” The curator is also planning to take the show to other cities, once the Covid-19 situation is in control. 

Artist Ganapati Hegde with his artwork

Giving back to nature 
A percentage of the sale proceeds from this show will be donated towards the care of the Galapagos Giant Tortoises aged 90 to 125 years at the Nehru Zoological Park. “The preparation for the show started last year and I invited artists who mostly dabble in mythology style of painting or are aware of the subject. After we made the fibreglass sculptures of the tortoises, it was shipped to the artists, who got around three months to complete their work. Each of the sculptures weighs 9kg,” shares Nagesh. His interpretation of the sculpture looks regal as it is done in a black and gold combination. The use of metallic acrylic paint along with gold foil matches the grandeur of Lord Vishnu. 

Artwork by Dr Laxman Aelay

Of hues and inspirations 
For city-based senior artist Dr Laxman Aelay, even though it was initially difficult to paint on the curved surface of the sculpture, the outcome tells a different story. “My inspiration behind my artwork with acrylic paint was from the Markandeya Purana and Lord Vishnu complete with Narad Muni, musicians, and Saptarishis,” says Dr Aelay. Hyderabad artist Jagdish Chintala’s showpiece might not scream mythology, his is one of the unique ones on display. “There are more than 2,000 tortoises existing in the world of all colours such as yellow, red, green and blue. I studied tortoises before starting a painting with acrylic paint and gold foil. I just thought about how Lord Vishnu as Kurma should look regal and special. So, I used gold where the skin is exposed and painted the shell with blue, purple, brown and orange colours and gold borders and circles,” he says.

Artwork by Jagadish Chintala

Bengaluru-based Ganapati Hegde came on board after a recommendation from his friend. His fascination with nature and its elements has been the focal point in all his artworks. So, when approached for this show, it was just a matter of time before he jumped on the opportunity. “On the sculpture, I have painted with acrylic about how every god or goddess is related to nature. Lord Vishnu’s second avatar is Kurma, Lord Krishna is associated with a lotus leaf or peacock feather, Lord Ram is shown as a twig and leaves symbolically. It took me about two months to finish,” says Ganapati. Another interesting work is by Hyderabad-based artist Sachin Jaltare, famous for his mythology-inspired works. This time too, he used his signature style in metallic acrylic and gold foil to bring out the tales of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. 


The exhibition will be held on January 21 and 22 at State Art Gallery, Madhapur (12 pm to 7 pm).
— reshmichakravorthy@newindianexpress.com
Twitter: @reshmi190488