There is a twinkle in Minu Ninan’s eyes when she speaks about her artworks. The walls of Studio Pepperfry in Panampilly Nagar, Kochi, are adorned with her oil paintings while painted bottles are arranged on shelves and tables. Minu says, it was her love for art that encouraged her to quit her 25-year-long career as a Mathematics teacher. “I always wanted to paint,” she says.
The exhibition Mystic Musings that began on November 10 has a variety of works. “Proceeds from the exhibition will be given to the Pelican Centre, a rehabilitation centre for mentally ill people.”
An autodidact, Minu has an eye for research and experiment; that’s evident in her bottle works. She has transformed liquor bottles into beautiful artifacts. “I collect these bottles and paint them. I am actually upcycling them,” says Minu, who has used oil paint, a difficult medium on glass. “First, I tried acrylic, but it was ruined when it contacted with water. I tried another medium, but that too didn’t work out and eventually zeroed in on oil. These are free-hand paintings.”
But how does she paint oil on glass? “I first apply primer, bake it in a certain temperature and then apply oil paint. That is long-lasting,” says Minu, who also experiments with glass paint on bottle. “It requires a lot of patience to do glass painting on a bottle. You will have to keep the bottle in the same position till it gets dried.”
Another interesting exhibit is bottles done in decoupage mode. “It is a very difficult process. You have to be very careful while taking apart the thin layer and pasting it on bottle,” says Minu, who sources the prints from abroad. She has also done a few bottles in Christmas theme. They are decorated with Christmas insignias and fairy lights.
Besides bottles, the show has oil paintings on canvas. There is a landscape done using knife. “How would a water body look when viewed from a hilltop? This painting depicts that,” explains Minu. One could also find images such as Rajasthani women, Krishna and Rukmini, lonely fisherman, poppies, tulips and conversation in a kitchen there. “The Conversation in Kitchen is inspired from one scene in the movie Neelathamara where the lady of the house is in conversation with servant in the kitchen. I took that scene as it depicts kitchen in our tharavadu. I didn’t copy the actors’ face. I changed it and brought a pleasant mood,” says Minu.
The exhibition is on till November 12.