Ganesha in myriad moods
Icons dazzle at Poompuhar Pic. by N. Balaji.
GANESHA DANCES, sings, reads, writes and plays the veena and mridangam at the special Ganesh Darshan exhibitions being organised at emporiums and craft boutiques all over the city.
Easily the pick of Ganesha icons in every medium and mood are available at Poompuhar (106, Anna Salai) and the Central Cottage Industries Emporium (Temple Towers, 672, Anna Salai, Nandanam).
Cast in bronze, fashioned out of brass, wood, sandalwood and silver, chiselled out of marble, alabaster and stone, the icons dazzle as much with their craftsmanship as with the innovative concepts of their craftsperson creators.
If the Swamimalai Ganesha bronzes on view at Poompuhar are a tribute to shastric classisicm and unmatched grace, the Cottage Industries collection celebrates eclecticism and innovation as in dhokraware tribal Ganesha vases, moulded brass Ganeshas in unusual formats and so on.
Superior craftsmanship defines both the Cottage Industries and Poompuhar Ganesha collections.
Striking images which come to mind are Poompuhar's three feet tall flute playing Ganesha, flanked by dwarf gift bearers and a specially commissioned three feet tall Madurai Ganesha demolishing the demon Kamalasura while mounted on a peacock. Bronze Ganeshas in various sizes and avatars walking, under brilliantly crafted chatris, reclining under a snakewood, dancing, making music etc. are some of the many icons available at Poompuhar.
Also on display are Nachiarkoil Ganesha brass lamps, tiny brass icons and mangowood, rosewood inlay and ebony Ganeshas.
The most stunning Ganeshas on display at the Central Cottage Industries Emporium are National Award Winner Barani's sandalwood icons embellished with fine lace-like micro mini carving. These are world-class collectors' items.
Brass icons from Aligarh, which obviously derive their inspiration from Swamimalai bronzes, and large sized mangowood Ganesha panels painted in subtle hues.
In the miniature range one has a choice of moderately priced marble, painted white wood and silver icons with enamel work from Jaipur.
Sunny Systems' "The Gallery" (58, GF, 2nd Main Street, Gandhi Nagar, Adyar) has on display (beginning August 25) an attractive range of gold painted terracotta Ganeshas from West Bengal, which offer a different craft experience to Chennai. Line drawings of Ganesha as well as painted mango wood icons are other attractions at The Gallery.
For those who like their Ganesha in glass, a visit to 1A, Ground Floor, Alsa Mall, would be worthwhile. Charmingly unusual corning ware icons are available in plenty here in the most ingenious poses and postures including Ganesha playing cricket, driving a buggy etc. And for aficionados of Thanjavur and Mysore glass paintings Raasi (1, Anna Avenue, Bhakthavatsalam Nagar, Adyar) offers some of the best Ganeshas done in the Thanjavur and Mysore art styles. Executed in bright jewel like tones, Raasi's Ganesha paintings are full of grace and artistry.
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