Sculpting the father of White Revolution, Dr Verghese Kurien
Verghese Kurien, India’s milkman, will come to life in the capital city through a statue crafted by Unni Kanayi
KOCHI: The father of India’s White Revolution, Verghese Kurien, comes to life through the eight feet statue made by Kannur-based artist, Unni Kanayi. Made as part of Kurien’s 100th birth anniversary celebrations organized by MILMA, the statue will be unveiled to the public by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday. Unni, the 40-year-old self-taught sculpturer, is doing final touches on the fibreglass structure.
It took Unni almost three months to bring Kurien to life. Throughout his 20 years of experience in sculpturing, Unni has made two statues of Verghese Kurien in Kozhikode and Ernakulam Milma offices. Unni has done in-depth research for the work. “I got hold of his old photographs. I found that he had a calm face and always maintained a cross-handed posture. After this, discussions were held with Milma’s executives too,” says Unni.
The artist first built a clay figure of Kurien and then moulded it with plaster of Paris and covered its exterior with five or six coats of hardened fibreglass solution. Unni claims this gives the statue a stronger life and helps it withstand a rough climate. “Unlike bronze figures, fibreglass medium makes it easy to sculpt the facial features which define the craftmanship of the sculpture,” adds Unni who also sculpted the 12ft-long Mahathma Gandhi statue at Kasaragod Collectorate and Narayana Guru statue near Napier Museum in the capital city.
Interestingly, he was a construction worker before turning into art full-time. “I believe experience is the best teacher in art. I was called to construct a statue of Ezhuthachan at my alma mater in 2006. The statue was appreciated widely and that is how I discovered my talent in sculpting. My dream is to make my art visible at Kerala’s prominent tourist spots,” he says.