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Breathing life into trees

"I've always felt that trees have a life of their own," says artist Anil Kumar Janardanan. No wonder that his latest show at Kashi Art Gallery at Mattancherry is titled `Tree Goddesses.'

The eight canvasses that Anil has displayed at Kashi Gallery are teeming with trees. Anil, who has not done any academic course in art, had started training under the artist V.S.Valyathan in Pandalam. Then, he travelled all over India, living and working in the major centres of art such as Kanoria Centre, Ahmedabad, Cholamandalam Artist Village, Chennai, and Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal.

In 1999, he held a solo exhibition at Draavidia Art and Performance Gallery, Mattancherry. But, the present series mark a thorough shift from the works of that period. Anil says that he started doing some sketches and landscapes in 2000. He started with painting the trees located around his Kodai home.

"Kodaikkanal is located at a particular altitude that imparts a peculiar hue to the entire atmosphere. Blue is an overpowering presence there. All colours become sharper and clearer," he says.

His decision to do this series of works from Kochi happened spontaneously. "Although I had started painting the trees of Kodaikkanal, especially the eucalyptus trees, staying in Kerala changed my perception. The childhood images of kavus, gods and goddesses began to appear," he says.

The show will continue till November 7.

Renu Ramanath

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