Back to school

DECCAN CHRONICLE | ANISHA DHIMAN
Published Oct 22, 2015, 4:42 am IST
Updated Mar 27, 2019, 9:48 am IST
After 25 long years, Laxma Goud gets together with his former students
Bhaskara Rao Botsa, Srinivas Tingeerkar and Rajasekhar Komukala; (bottom row from left) Hanumantha Rao, Chippa Sudhakar, A. Rajeswara Rao, Laxma Goud, Sajid Bin Amar, Fawad Tamkanat and Sumanto Choudhary; (seated) Manguirish. Artists are part of the
 Bhaskara Rao Botsa, Srinivas Tingeerkar and Rajasekhar Komukala; (bottom row from left) Hanumantha Rao, Chippa Sudhakar, A. Rajeswara Rao, Laxma Goud, Sajid Bin Amar, Fawad Tamkanat and Sumanto Choudhary; (seated) Manguirish. Artists are part of the

On Tuesday afternoon, the forlorn banyan tree at artist Chippa Sudhakar’s studio witnessed the nostalgic meeting of a teacher and his students after 25 long years. The teacher was none other than senior artist Laxma Goud, who resumed his post of an educator among his former students to remind them how “art is not restricted to just paintings”.

In a 10-day long camp which has never been conducted in the city before, some of the best known artists will relearn from Laxma Goud how art more valuable than gold can be created using basic techniques and readily-available materials.

“Art is a form of communication, one that can take place even without a canvas and set of paints,” says Laxma Goud, who is known for his versatility in all the art mediums. “A goldsmith, cobbler, potter... are all artists in my opinion. We just need to keep our egos aside and learn what we can from their trade because it’s only when we do that will we learn to break free from our handicap and be well-versed in different mediums,” he says.
 
Artists turn artisans
In one corner of the studio, you can find Fawad Tamkanat sitting under a tree and patiently working on copper etchings. Best known for his paintings of city sculptures, the artist admits that this is a medium he hasn’t worked with in a long time.

“The past few years have been spent completing commissioned artworks or making work that sells. I have been so busy that I haven’t been able to make art for myself,” says artist Fawad, who also proceeds to show the two circular pendants he has made so far. The pendants are made of brass and have etchings of women on them.

“We are working out of the box here, sharing space and influencing each other with our creativity and ideas; it’s not our regular line of work. I have also been doing enamelling, will be working with textiles for men and women and have made rice paper drawings,” he says.

Seated next to Fawad is artist Chippa Sudhakar, whose latest body of work revolves around installations of “human heads”. “But I learnt how to work with paper mache, haven’t worked much with this medium before,” he adds.

Learning from Laxma
But it’s not all work among the artists for whom this gathering is also a reunion of sorts. In between chai and home-made biryani, they reminisce about the good old and scary times under their talented yet strict teacher Laxma. “He is one of the artists from the city who is serious about his work, about promoting art. During college days, he was strict but we were lucky to have studied under him. His work and temperament were always a source of fascination,” says artist Rajeswara Rao. At the camp, he has been working on a sculpture depicting a girl child. “I have joined two covers and on them I am sticking strips of papers which have detailed pen drawings and the only colour used is one I get from spreading chai and water on the surface,” he says.

Also among the group is perhaps one of the oldest students of Laxma Goud, artist Sajid Bin Amar, who has been mentored by Laxma since he was in Class VIII. “My brother used to work in Doordarshan and he would often show Laxma my drawings, who would guide me on how to better myself,” he says.
 
The bigger picture
“I want to promote our community of artists, have all of us working in tandem in places like these,” says Laxma Goud, referring to the spacious yet peaceful studio of Sudhakar where the artists are at liberty to create. “We are fortunate that we could work here, but there needs to be more such places for artists in the city to promote creativity. We did have such an infrastructure, Lalit Kala Academy, where artists could communicate, learn from each other and come together. We need places like that,” he says.  
 

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