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Waves of creativity

MINU ITTYIPE

The `Monsoon Sea Camp' at Mararikulam saw 18 artists express their creativity in a riot of colours and forms.



IMPRESSION: An artist enlivens a canvas with her imagination during the camp.

"Art is a silent discourse," said T.A. Satyapal, veteran artist and director of Monsoon Sea Camp at Mararikulam that saw the participation of 18 artists from all over South India. To ferret out the nuances of this silent discourse and discover the discourse within the discourse it was necessary to communicate verbally with the artists for the visual language on the canvases that ranged from the angst-ridden, contemplative and surrealistic to even the celebrative.

Themes

The predominant theme was the monsoon sea. The rolling sea is the sovereign spectator to the laughter and playfulness of Sunil Vallarpadam as he races away from the incessant waves. Said the artist, "It is about playing with the waves. It is the small experiences of pure enjoyment that I try to translate into visual images. Life is full of violence, so, on canvas, I steer away from such images." And the bright colours used by him, only reinforced his views.

A.K. Salim merged the surrealistic and the realistic to create an almost photographic image where the sea extends seamlessly into the sky superimposed with blackbirds on a telephone line. Saju Ayampilly portrayed lovers furtively seeking the cover of an umbrella to create a private world of their own.

Media of expressions

Purushotham Adve's mixed media on cloth saw the expression of folk art in contemporary forms. He effortlessly created a Durga who even as she hunts for the asuras is shown as a seeker of peace with white flowers in one hand. Adve's Durga is in beautiful contemporary lines while the symbols and ornamentation remains faithful to the ancient folk art.

This artist from Uddipi said, "Folk art is in my blood, it is in my culture and is embedded in my memory.

And I want it to survive at least in my paintings because folk art is rapidly dying." Jayavanth from Manipal too portrayed `Durga' in cool colours, thus highlighting the paradox. He said, "It is the cool colours that bring peace to my mind. My paintings are influenced by leather puppetry of my region and I have used the same decorative elements of folk art while creating my Durga."

The surprise came in the form of Eva Claessens, an artist from Belgium who had come to Kerala to rediscover herself and her art.

She joined the camp enthusiastically. "I follow my feelings. Nine years ago I had bought my dream house and all these years I had worked hard to furnish it, but two months ago I sold it. Now before I decide which country I want to settle in I needed to find myself and in order to do that I came to Kerala."

Jayakani from Chennai showed in fine lines the cityscape before and after the tsunami. And finally it was the enthusiastic response of Srikanth Dhunde that summed up the mood of the camp as he gave vent to his feelings on canvas. Said he "I am enjoying the colours and forms."

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