As the title Signs of Presence suggests, each work featured in the exhibition at Durbar Hall Art Gallery sends out a sign. If Akhil Vijayakumar’s paintings are signs of memories and hope, Ayyappadas I.R.’s sculptures look for possibilities of bringing together different mediums or materials to one space. Vishnu C.S.’ carvings symbolise suppressed or hidden emotions of every little being on this earth.
The three friends, in fact, have brought together different thoughts under one umbrella. “We did not work on a common theme as we have been working on our own themes for some time. It would be difficult for us to hold that and start a new project. So, we have selected a few from the existing series and displayed them here,”says Ayyappadas, who tries to bring novelty by juxtaposing mediums that are poles apart. One of his works, Beyond One’s Reach, comprises wood and metal. Another one has fabric and metal.
According to him, these experimentations are his ways to break the conventional modes of art appreciation. “When two entirely different mediums are brought together, there would be a unique visual beauty. I am trying to explore that through my work. My works are a quest to find such rare possibilities,” he explains. His fabric-metal work denotes child birth. “My mother had a caesarian. The metal blade in the middle indicates that,” he explains.
Light is a concurring image in Akhil Vijayakumar’s paintings on canvas and etchings on terracotta that carry a nostalgic aura. The artist says light signifies hope. “All these are based on my memories, especially from childhood,” says Akhil, pointing at the small terracotta works. The works depict daily life of people in rural areas. Beyond nostalgia, what Akhil wants to convey to viewers is the decline of such scenes. His painting where birds are seen perched on an electrical post is an example. It is an artistic reminder about humans trespassing into other beings’ space. “I saw this in Mattancherry during my tenure as the Biennale volunteer,” says Akhil. “I was walking on the road, and saw birds finding comfort under the shades of lamps of electric posts. A group of them were seen on lines too.
That led me to this.”
Vishnu’s paintings, etchings and carvings are quite emotional as they speak emotions of people and objects around us. His works contain humans, birds and animals, who want to speak out, but not able to.
Showing his sketch books that are filled with charcoal sketches, Vishnu says, “There are many people, animals, birds and objects that suppress their emotions. If a hidden emotion hits my head when I look at a person’s face or an object, I sketch it on my book.” His books, which are his case studies, consist of portraits of people whom he met at different places at different times. Through his works, he exhorts everyone to look at people around them and read them. “I do that. Sometimes, I speak to them too, which gives me a better idea.
Signs of Presence is open till June 21 from 11 am to 7 pm....