Artists’ coalition helps marooned weavers

Published Nov 22, 2018, 12:24 am IST
Updated Nov 22, 2018, 12:24 am IST
The idea behind this drive lies in the devastating floods of Kerala in August 2018 that had destroyed homes and livelihood.
Akkitham Narayanan
 Akkitham Narayanan

It is going to be an effective drive by a group of citizens, who dedicated themselves to rehabilitate the society of distressed weavers (in the handloom sector) based in the tiny hamlet of ‘Chendamangalam’ in Kerala. The project is titled ‘Care 4 Chendamangalam’.

The idea behind this drive lies in the devastating floods of Kerala in August 2018 that had destroyed homes and livelihood. However, help and rehabilitation efforts began immediately, but there is a lot more ground to cover to bring Kerala back to normalcy.



 A steering committee has been formed to help the weavers’ cause consisting of the five members — Preetha Reddy, the vice chairman of Apollo Hospitals, Minnie Menon, professional turned jewellery designer, Thejomaye Menon, an artiste from Chennai and H. O. D of Arts at SIET college, Meera Mammen, vice president Welfare MRF and Shekar Sitaraman, a businessmen and hotelier. The committee believes that this chosen society would recognise and embrace the change and value addition and the initial step they are taking to organise training programmes for the weavers, thereby enhancing their skills.


But the real heroes seem to be the artworks and sculptures to be displayed on the fund raiser art exhibition and auction event followed by at Taj Connemara on this evening, an initiative to mobilise funds. Sales proceeds will be utilised for the upliftment of the lives and livelihood of the weavers, in a planned manner with a long term focus.

Achuthan KudallurAchuthan Kudallur

A bevy of artistes are going to dedicate their artworks for the noble cause. To name of a few, Achuthan Kudallur, C.Douglas, Akkitham Narayanan, J M S Mani, S.G. Vasudev, Thotta Tharini, A.V. Illango, M. Senathipathi, Babu Xavie, Manisha Raju, Bose Krishnamachari, Ravindran R., G. Raman, P. Gopinath and many genius artistes are there.

The real cynosure amongst them is a 6ft x 6ft artwork on glass. Talking on his work from the series ‘man with the mirror’, C. Douglas says its on paper mounted on canvas. “As in all my works I have given importance to the materiality of the materials I have used. The fragility of paper, character of colour and drawing materials,” he explains, as like others, he is deeply concerned about the work and survival of the flood affected weavers.

C. DouglasC. Douglas

The artist adds more about his creation to be exhibited, “the reflection in the mirror which is held by a man shows two birds; one black and one white, in the sky and only visible in the mirror. It is opposite to the natural reality about light and shadow. The result is fluctuation between two realities. Reflected and non-reflected, the reversal brings play into the work.”

Sculptor Ravindran.V shares, “The theme of my sculptures are of birds and beasts. And their beauty and form is very inspiring to me as an artist who works in the three-dimensional, area of creativity.”

J M S ManiJ M S Mani

“Visiting Chenda mangalam and seeing the plight of the weavers brought home to us the stark reality of the havoc, the floods had caused to their homes and future. It was a humbling experience. After due diligence a society comprising 42 women weavers has been identified,” says Minnie Menon from the steering committee. According to Preetha Reddy, “Partnerships will be initiated between the weavers and established designers thereby scaling up the existing skills of the weavers to make their craft more appealing to the next generation. This we believe would be the apt way to nurture their craft and preserve their heritage.”

Following the art auction, the artworks and sculptures will be exhibited @ Silver Palm 3rd floor, New #14,old #19 Arunachalam Road, Kotturpuram during this weekend (Saturday & Sunday) from 10 am to 8 pm.