Treading a road less travelled

Forests, in black and brown, fill the canvases of Binu Kottarakara. The dark secrets of the wild jungle acquire a haunting hue in his frames.

author_img Mahima Anna Jacob Published :  29th July 2022 02:08 PM   |   Published :   |  29th July 2022 02:08 PM
Binu Kottarakara's artwork

Binu Kottarakara's artwork

Forests, in black and brown, fill the canvases of Binu Kottarakara. The dark secrets of the wild jungle acquire a haunting hue in his frames. Robert Frost’s famous line ‘The woods lovely, dark and deep’ gains life in these frames.

The bird and an elephant in that brown forest depict life amid a harrowing scene, says artist Binu Kottarakkara. “A forest is not always rich and lusciously green. Due to climate change and global warming, nature is struggling. These images reflect our lives too it’s not always happy, cheerful and positive. Sometimes everything is bland and brown,” says Binu.

These works My Village Views are part of an ongoing exhibition titled ‘Off Road’ at the Durbar Hall Art Gallery. Seven artists Reghunadhan K, Sreekanth Nettoor, Santhan Velayudhan, Sreejith Pottekkatt, Biji Bhaskar, Anil B Krishna and Binu have come together to exhibit their contemporary artworks. “The title ‘Off Road’ itself hints at taking a different path or approach to art. As seven people who think outside the box, the theme ‘Off Road’ suits us,” says Sreekanth.

His charcoal paintings all depict a curious dimension of aerial views. The artist has also tried to bring our daily meandering introspections as images and scenarios. “I drew the images as if seen from above. The painting of a woman lying on the moon was based on a dream I once had. From the usual vibrant colours, I’ve followed a monochrome tone throughout,” he says. Artist Biji Bhaskar’s paintings depict village lives, inspired by the lives surrounding his village — Pothanikkad. The lush greenery, mountains, farmers and the livelihood of the villagers all come alive in his frames.

Artist Reghunathan K shares a different story with his sculptures ‘Work at Home’ and ‘Dehydration’. The first one centres around a woman with a blue head. The viewer can perceive it either as hair or the face being pulled towards. At the end of her maxi dress, household items like an iron box and pressure cooker are kept. And a baby is carved on her stomach. 

“In Dehydration, a distressed man is shown with saliva and blood all oozing out of him. I’ve tried to bring out that difficult moment in your life where you are all by yourself,” says the artist. Shanthan Velayudhan portrays the epitome of feminine beauty in his works. The shiny works reflect the artist’s inner feminine persona. Sreejith Pottekkatt’s paintings of wildlife are another highlight.

The childhood days spent with his grandfather who was a forest range officer had an effect on him. The image of a leopard in its innate nature is quite captivating. The wild is portrayed with looming darkness with disorienting brush strokes.

Artist Anil B Krishna’s paintings revolve around his fond childhood memories. In one frame, we can see a house with a tree growing on top of it. In another, a little boy on the river bank waiting for boats is an eye-catcher.
The exhibition will conclude on July 31.