For three friends, K. Rajalakshmi, K.T. Mathai and K.A. Devadas, their exhibition titled Maithrakam happening at Kerala Lalithakala Akademi Hall, Thrissur, is an ode to friendship. As Rajalakhsmi puts, the show depicting various shades of nature has let the trio walk back to the 1980s when they studied Fine Arts at RLV College, Tripunithura.
“Thought of those days would bring colourful memories,” says Rajalakshmi. “The building where we studied has gone now. It was a happy space covered with colourful tiles and had glass windows. This show is a dedication to that space, our friends and teachers,” adds Rajalakshmi, who worked as art teacher for 10 years before becoming a full-time artist.
The show is not only a return to their college days, but also a chance to bring back their practice that had not been very active due to busy life schedules. “Before this, I was a designer in an advertising firm. Only Devadas was into full time art,” says Mathai.
The idea of Maithrakam took shape two years ago. “Mathai and I hail from the same place – Mulanthuruthy. Now, I live in Cherthala, my husband’s place. After long years, I met Mathai on Facebook, and we were in touch. Once, I invited him to be a judge for one of our competitions. Then he said he was working on a project. Devadas came on board later, and we decided to do the show together,” recalls Rajalakshmi. Then, they wanted a title that would reflect the spirit of their friendship and thus zeroed in on the name Maithrakam, which means friendship.
Nature is the core element of their works. The 50 works on display aim to make the spectators think about the significance of nature. Mathai’s works take a look at polluting nature, especially rivers, whereas Rajalakshmi paints elements of nature. Devadas follows a semi-abstract style to communicate his thoughts. “Devadas’ works will take us to childhood,” says Mathai. Rajalakshmi says she has selected a few paintings from her existing series ‘Joy of Life’ for the show.
She explains the connection between nature and life through her paintings. Maithrakam concludes today.