Friday, March 23, 2018

Under the Canopy of SJCC (an art camp experience)

An art camp or residency gives an artist what he/she craves for - a hassle-free creative time with every need catered to while we need to indulge only in art, whole-heartedly. I was lucky enough to be invited to one such art camp conducted by the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi in St.Joseph's College of Communication (SJCC), Changanasseri along with 16 others. 5 of them were students from the campus.

A well-equipped campus also called Media Village with their own Radio station at 90.8 FM (within 25 km of the campus) and a television broadcast, MVTV (Media Village TV). A moderately spaced college with young creative minds and a creative campus.

Artists from the art camp. 
3 of them were unavailable while taking the photograph.

 Invite to the art camp

SJCC campus courtyard-HuesnShades
SJCC campus courtyard with paintings of the students on the walls.

 Paintings of students on the side walls.

Various sculptures by the students:




We were at liberty to choose the place where we could put our easels and we choose under the canopy of trees. And yet the heat was so unbearable that we had to take our easels inside for a couple of hours on two days. It did help us to place our things lavishly on tables and finish our works early though. When I say "we" I mean my roommate and new-found friend Aswathy who is doing her first year MFA in Sri Sankara University, Kaladi.

canopy of trees-HuesnShades



I was working on this big a canvas, 3x4 feet, for the first time and I did have my inhibitions to tell you the truth. It definitely was a learning experience worth it! The background didn't turn out the way I had intended; at first, I thought it's the floor which perhaps wasn't even. Later I realized it's the canvas. But I somehow adjusted it to my requirement. I had a hard time the first day, but once the final sketch was on, it went pretty smoothly.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light-HuesnShades
Rage, rage against the dying of the light
3x4 feet, Acrylics

There's a flash of light on the top almost towards the left corner; it's not part of the painting! 


We were also invited to be part of the Women's Day celebration held on Mar 9th which was also the last day of the camp. The Honourable Lady (Thambuuratti) lighting the lamp is the current Queen of Changanasseri if it had been under the King's rule. I was in awe to share the stage with her. And she wasn't a good speaker but instead sang gorgeously and stole our hearts! They also screened 'Loving Vincent' the previous day which I was dying to see and I must say it's one of the most amazingly done movies!

Here's a short video of the art camp by MVTV :

And finally the artists and their art:
*couldn't get hold of all the artists' in the pictures though!

From left to right:
Above: Parthasarathy Varma (great-grandson of Artist Raja Ravi Varma), Saanandaraj, Sudaya Das, Durga Das, Akshay (artists not in the pic)
Below: T K Anil, Aswathy Byju, Sadanandan Changanasseri, Suresh Koothuparamba, Sathheesh Parakkode, M S Vinod

Student Artists: Arshad P K, Suryagayatri, Vaiganath
(Indu Ajay-standing behind Suryagayatri in the middle pic above- and Rony Linson were unavailable for a click)

I enjoyed the free spirit I experienced artwise...I didn't have to bother about materials...Oh, the paint is about to finish or something like that. I hadn't had to cook, clean etc. etc. etc. before sitting down to paint or after it! I had the luxury to think only about art! The one thing that we- Aswathy and I, missed was the sharing of art experiences and talks in groups among the artists. However, we did converse/share a lot between ourselves.

What are your art camp/residency experiences? What is that you enjoy the most in an art camp - the freedom, the hassle-free artistic indulgence, the food, the formation of new friendships...?

Friday, March 2, 2018

Madhu-An Obituary

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Madhu-An Obituary-HuesnShades
27 years, From Attapadi,
Forest is my home. They usurped it and they call it their own.
Mentally challenged, they say.
I was lynched by a mob for stealing some rice to feed my hunger.
I died on my way to the hospital.
I am survived by my mother.

If only we would  – Live and Let Live!

“Kindness, quite simply, is the rent we must pay for the space we occupy on this planet.” 
("Who will cry when we die?" - Robin Sharma)

Our society had upgraded itself in all possible ways but has downgraded and hit the nadir unlike never before when it comes to being human! We usurp everything on our way and yet claim to be super-civilized. We create jokes at others’ expense!!! We, humans, as a race have become so uncouth, rude, impolite, mean and vicious. Why is compassion, gratitude, humility, generosity such a rare virtue these days?

What will be left for our children and their children -  our posterity? What values are we teaching them? Where are we heading?