Saturday, September 26, 2015

Meet An Artist - Priti Vadakkath

Priti Vadakkath is one of the prominent artists I have come across in Kochi in the recent times. Her works, though not drenched in colours, have an alluring quality to it and it very often makes a subtle expression of the inner workings of the self…illuminating the margins, as she says! Haunting and exuberantly innocent, her works attest her longing for the past and the doleful doldrums of the present. It sways back and forth making a statement of her own…an effective one at that!

Priti Vadakkath

Today's Meet An Artist is different from my usuals as it is the first recorded one - an audio. I met Priti at her lovely, sun-lit, gorgeous, high-roofed, ancestral-look-alike villa in Thevara. We met, had an amazing 'friendly' conversation; I wouldn't call it a proper interview as I think we both  got immersed in our talk and forgot about the recording  that had been going on, quite often! Initially, we both were very aware of it though. The conversation was recorded in her Studio and a couple of her paintings were put up there and we were pointing and talking about it as you can make out from our conversation at certain times.

Since this is my first try and no editing has gone into it except in two spaces where I have tried my hand at it, there may be errors, all sorts of issues of a non-pro recording...please do bear with me...please do listen to the audio and do leave me your valuable feedback.
Thanks dear friends for taking your time out, to drop by and to leave your heart-warming comments... each time, every time!

So here's the audio, please do lend me your ears...

Click on the link above...
A window would pop up, click on 'Open With' at the top and choose a media player of your choice...

note: Please let me know whether you are able to play it properly.

Some of Priti's Alluring and Haunting works...

Reliving The Past With All My Might 
60x40in each panel
Untitled - 5
Four Times Five is Twelve, Four Times Six is Thirteen

 The Booba and Kiki 
Transcripts - 2
Sacristan -1

Sea of Lost Time - Diptych
60x40in each panel

A Little Is A Lot - 5

Spirit Echo -1

Spirit Echo - 2

Acquiescence in Fate - 1

Awaiting The Sins To Ripe

Vale of Tears

Untitled - 1
Four Times Five is Twelve, Four Times Six is Thirteen

They Are No More And They Were No Less (Critical Dust)
'Clipboard' show

We wish Priti Vadakkath the very Best in all her future endeavours be it in her home or her art...God Bless!

Dear Friends, hope you all have enjoyed something new in here. Hope I can manage future recordings with less errors and may be I could even add video chats and conversations. Thanks to each one of you for taking time to visit Hues n Shades. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Voices of Women

Last week I took a trip to Ahalia Heritage Village, my second after almost a year! There were quite exciting changes in there with some delightful additions around the campus. The first, most noticeable one, of course was the windmill! None can miss that!!! It's gigantically huge and I was totally enamoured by it!

Not a clear picture...doesn't justify its enormity!
Took it from a moving bus...

If you haven't read my earlier posts on Ahalia...Read it here and here for you need to get an idea of the immensity and idyllic environment I am talking about.

It's always a pleasure to be in the presence of Devan Sir who is by the way an incredible human being as he is an incredible artist. We then drove to Ahalia Heritage Village as the bus takes us only till Ahalia Eye Hospital. The campus is enormously huge! I was honoured when Varma Sir, also joined us inspite of his migraine. It expresses their hospitality and I am so grateful to be at the receiving end. Both Varma Sir and Devan Sir are the inseparable elements of Ahalia! The warmth they, as well as each staff, emanates beaming with cordial smiles is something that would gratify any visitor! We did have a fruitful talk and discussion on very many things related to art and artists. I always enjoy such zesty vibes when there's so much art around! 

The Kerala murals that were in progress during my last visit had transformed and were in its full glory; enticingly appealing!

Tale of Padhirukulam in Kerala Mural style

There was also a Granite sculpture workshop held sometime back with skilled artists from all over India and their creations have been placed appropriately. It needs a little work with the completion of the base; Ahalia intends to form it as a sculpture garden which I personally believe would take it a new level. About those, may be in a later post once they are all set up!

The main idea, however, behind my trip was to see the works of the women artists' who had created some fabulous work in the last week of August from 19th to 25th. The occasion being Ahalia Women's Painting Camp; with thirteen artists from various parts of Kerala. They were each entrusted with a female mythological character beforehand; to create what they envisioned of their character. Almost each one of them had accomplished well!

Mithra with 'Sita'/ Teslin Jose with 'Kaikeyi' 
Anandavally with 'Savitri'/ Vani Naduvath with 'Gargi'
Leena Raj with 'Surpanakha'/ Santakumari with 'Sathi'
Suvarna with 'Seelavathi'/ Sreeja Pallam with 'Gandhari'
Anupama Alias with 'Ahalia'/ Jaya with 'Draupadi'
Chitra with 'Poothana'/ Dodsy Antony with 'Urmila'

Himahari with 'Tara'

To get a good view of Ahalia, one needs to place it this way :)

Anupama's 'Ahalia'

Varma Sir did mention that probably it's the first time that a workshop/camp on female mythological characters had been done by women artists. The workshop, however, seems successful with the versions the artists' have created. Each one has a unique narrative style and their interpretation stays true to the character they have been assigned with. The details some artists' have laboured on with finesse caught my eye... particularly Mithra, Sreeja, Jaya and Chitra.

While landscape seems to be the major preferred layout, Anupama and Himahari have tried the portrait one and that stands out too. I was reminded of Frida Kahlo and the Mexican style when I encountered 'Tara'; it does have a folksy touch to it. Devan sir mentioned that it was Mithra who has been portrayed in Himahari's painting as 'Tara' as they shared a strong bond of friendship in the camp; it's such tidbits that really adds warmth and color to the story! Agree?

It was, nevertheless, extremely difficult to choose a favourite as each one had some element that attracted me towards it!!! ...Perhaps 'Tara' stood a wee bit ahead with it's folksy touch as my friends who know me will gather it! ;)

Voicing the concerns of women from time immemorial, one can see the plight of women hasn't changed much over the centuries. Anguish and endurance seems to be part and parcel of a woman's life. Though one can find changes in several arenas particularly in the work field, 'She' has miles to travel to reach what 'She' can rightly term as 'liberty' in it's truest sense. All these female characters are epitome of endurance; their life was one of sorrow and sacrifice they willingly accepted for the sake of their better half/loved ones.

Artist Leena Raj questions as to why there is no change in the attitude of society towards women's issues, "It is still the same as it was for Surpanakha where a ruler like Rama humiliated and tortured her just because she fell in love with a man she desired." (from Times News Network article)
That set me thinking...doesn't it?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. The views expressed are my own.

Monday, September 7, 2015

'Re-Collections' on ClipBoard

Once upon a time there were clipboards in wood/hardboard with steel clips/holders...'it multi-tasked'...from being a simple writing pad to exam pad...from drawing pad and scribbling pad to list storing pad even...from holding scripts to all kinds of applications too! Remember???

When I deliberate on was the time when we (some of us at least!) as kids used to dread it, at some point, as it was something connected to exam-nightmares (for me esp before Maths!)...associated to dreams and hopes...linking us to our future...bearing all the scars of our feelings and emotions...they held on to us as we held on to them!
Now-a-days, the link has been lost as we don't find them in any store any more! 
You really need to delve into a kind of treasure hunt for those inanimate wooden clipboards! (One does come across clipboards with assortment of colorful cartoons though but the feel of the raw wood, smooth finish for the paper and scarred behind and the broad metal clip with the maker's mark embossed on it at the top to hold the paper is something nostalgic.)

Having said that, I got to see those wooden clipboards transformed into delightful and magnificent 'beings' lined up on the wall of Gallery E of Durbar Hall, each proclaiming a tale of its own! Not one, not two, not even ten...but 101 of them...from different parts of India and abroad. The diversity it displayed is quite amazing; illustrations, abstracts, mixed media, digital prints, 3-D, laser cut, even sculpted and what not!

For Shijo Jacob (Lecturer at Raja Ravi Varma College of Fine Arts, Mavelikkara), Clipboard is synonymous with nostalgia. As the curator of the show he has been successful to a great extent to bring out that feeling of recollections, of aspirations, dreams and dilemmas, childhood desires, fantasies and fears from and through each participating artist. He sent out clipboards to 101 artists and each artist metamorphosed a mere clipboard into something unique and personal, gaining momentum to salvage a once lost and forgotten experience or the aforesaid feelings, emotions and thoughts, expressing them into an has a greater relevance today since everything is fleeting and transient these days; 'Attachment and commitment' seems to have lost relevance. It is not only an extension of such thoughts that has come to life but one could even find exclusive digression like political innuendos too.

"Clipboard within the medium of discursive parameters of this exhibition is not just about the nostalgic past. It involves use and disuse of methods and materials; it speaks of fossilization of objects and events; it narrates the story of arrivals and departures of ideas; it creates a platform to negotiate the idea of disappearance in the days of globalization; it also speaks of a retrieval system as memory is one such mechanism we have to live upon. Clipboard is a support, a hold, an enthusiasm and a memory pad that does not have a self illuminating screen."

- Johny M L (Art Critic, Curator, Writer)

Clipboard Poster

I reached there at the nick of time...lamp lighting (Couldn't click the pictures though)! The hall was already beaming with artists and art enthusiasts.

 At Gallery E, Durbar Hall, Kochi

Artist-Curator Shijo Jacob lighting the lamp

Here's a glimpse of what I need to see this in person as they aren't doing real justice here!


Ajaya Kumar, Rakesh Puliyarakonam, George Martin, Pooja Iranna, Midhun Raj
Siji R Krishnan, Jayadeep R S, Priti Vadakkath, Sonali Laha, Sunil Sree

Babitha Kadannappally, Benoy P J, Gireesh G V, Josh P S, Bhagyanath
Shajith R B, Tensing Joseph, S G Vasudev, Manmeet Devgun, Anu B S

P K Manoj, Gigi Scaria, N N Rizmon, Remya Sandeep, Renji Viswanath
Surendran Karthyayan, Ashok Kumar Gopalan, Reji K P, Jayaram Poduval, Kattur Narayana Pillai

Gopi Krishna, Antony Karal, Moutushi Chakraborty, Balakrishnan V P, Suresh Panicker
Shinod Akkaraparambil, Zakkir Hussain, P R Satheesh, Harilal Krishnan, Rinku Raj

Vivek Vilasini, T V Santhosh, Vivan Sundaram. Nijina Neelambaram, T Kaladharan
K K Sasi, Ruchika Wason Singh, Ranjith Raman, Anoop Kamath, Roy Thomas

Shijo Jacob (middle)

Manoj Vyloor, Mimi Radhakrishnan, Murali Cheeroth, Dodsy Antony, Barnet Alex Varghese
Abhimanue V G, M T Jayalal, K S Radhakrishnan, K K Rajappan, Ritu Kamath

Saju Mannathur, Tom J Vattakuzhi, Mukta Kamplikar, Azis T M, Biveesh B
Shanti Kasi, Margaret Lanzetta, A P Sunil, Moeen Fatma, Johny M L

Binoy Varghese, Deepthi P Vasu, Prasad Kumar K S, Aby P Robin, Arun Kumar H G
Jyothilal T G, Anil Thambai, Merlin Moli, Pradeep Naik, Sabrina Osborne

Sajeev Visweswaran, Uthara Remesh, Deepak John Mathew, Shine K, Aji Adoor
Anandakrishnan S K, K T Mathai, G Unnikrishnan, Pratul Dash, Santhosh K

Sandeep Biswas, Rajeev Puliyoor, Manu Binny George, Ashik L, Babu Xavier
Aiswaryan K, Anindita Chakraborthy, Joseph Mathew, Shivani Aggarwal, Shilpa Mayenkar

In its entirety, Clipboard was a treat to watch.

Even the catalogue is awesome, it's a great keepsake! You can find the works of all 101 artists :)

Clipboard-Catalogu- HuesnShades

The first two pictures are from Clipboard FB page.