Art has always been a medium to convey a message to the masses. Many a time, we find artists turning activists with the aim of bringing a change in society. The Sentence, an exhibition of paintings by six artists, going on at Durbar Hall Art Gallery, Ernakulam, is one such. The artists — John Davy, Kumaran K.R., Manoj Narayanan, Renjeethlal, Unnikrishnan T.T., and Varghese Kalathil — communicate their concerns through the visual language with this exhibition.
“It is our attempt to explain to the world our views on various evils prevailing in society,” says Varghese. His artworks depict the effect of war on humanity and the need to live in harmony with nature.
Varghese who brings out the horrid side of war through his self-portraits says, “We fight for peace but we are devoid of it. Hence, I included the picture of Aylan Kurdi and Omran Daqneesh, two boys who revealed the dreadful side of Syrian war before us.”
Unnikrishnan’s works also try to desconstruct war. The quick brush strokes and shells in his paintings point to the speed with which war descends upon a society. And he concludes that children bear the brunt of war the most. ‘In search of green’ series by Renjeethlal, art teacher at Choice School, show how mechanisation adversely affects nature. His three works describe how nature struggles to find a foothold in a drastically changing world.
Manoj Narayanan, an artist and farmer, imparts the joy of his life through his meticulously drawn paintings. “Manoj finds happiness in that. That is why he chose to bring that element in his works,” says Varghese.
John Davy, another senior artist, has taken religion as the core theme for his paintings, for religion is one of the causes of war. The crucifixion of Jesus is the central figure in two of his works, which have been adapted from Salvador Dali’s ‘Crucifixion of Christ’. “Deviation of Christianity from reality and its subsequent effects are portrayed in my works.” If Jesus’ body resembles a garden in one image, it turns into a laboratory in the next one.
The invisible link between nature and human beings is what K.R. Kumaran has taken for his paintings. Three faces submerged in the flowers in the work titled ‘Behind the Anthurium’ beautifully describe the connection between humans and nature. The presence of bright hues makes his creation lively. The Sentence will conclude on September 19....