An illustrious achievement
No painting by artist C. Shantha has verbal explanations. Instead, she wants viewers to guess what she tries to convey through her works. This 60-year-old artist from a very modest background began drawing with charcoal and chalk and gradually moved to acrylic, which she manages to buy with the income from the five hens she breeds.
Shantha’s ongoing solo exhibition at the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi art gallery in Kozhikode has a collection of 29 paintings that depict nature and the drastic events that are happening to nature.
Some of her works depict childhood experiences and reminiscences. “I am not bound by relations and neither are my paintings,” says Shantha. “I have nothing much to express through my paintings, it is just a revision of my life experiences,” she adds.
This self-taught artist started painting at a very tender age, but had to suppress her talent due to acute poverty. It was at 45 that Shantha exhibited her works for the first time.
Her paintings showcase lucid and plain themes. “Often I wanted to put an end to the urge to paint, but much as you try to suppress the urge, it will keep jumping up at you,” says Shantha. “It was my privilege to get basic training from artists at SK Pottekkat Cultural Centre in Kozhikode years ago. With technical and marketing know-how that I learned from them I have now turned into a professional artist.” The exhibition will conclude on January 7.
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