Of suffering and sisterhood
Two other Malayali visual artists, Helna Merin Joseph and Anupama Alias were also part of the art festival.
Two other Malayali visual artists, Helna Merin Joseph and Anupama Alias were also part of the art festival. Helna’s art depicts the horrors faced by migrants during the Covid pandemic. “During the first lockdown, news channels were constantly narrating the ordeal that migrants go through.
Most of them were trying to return to their hometowns from the metro cities where they were trying to make a living. They didn’t have the option of taking transport, so they walked hundreds of kilometres. Some even passed away due to heatstrokes or from accidents,” remembers the Changanessery-native.
The mammoth piece, titled Deplacement of existence, is colourful. It depicts Indians from various cultures — a few sitting on the footpath, at railway stations, carrying heavy luggage and their toddlers — all wearing masks. Helna subtly uses the colours to show their worries. The entire work has been installed on glass planks and visitors can walk around them.
Anupama’s works are on the feminine side. The lives of women who are part of Kudumbashree and other self-help organisations are framed in Cape of Good Hope. “It would seem like they have developed a common tongue. I enquired about the words they use the most, their lingo,” she says. Most of Anupama’s works are in watercolour. She also uses rice paper on them to sometimes embed words or other elements.