Back in 2016, a group of 15 students from Sree Narayana Gurukulam College of Engineering, Kadayiruppu, started the WhatsApp group ‘The Hidden Tales’ as a creative getaway. As Sam, one of its founding members, recollects with a chuckle, “It was formed to beat the boredom our courses offered. The core idea was shaped up by a few students of mechanical engineering who wanted to pursue photography.”
When one among them suggested to form the group, there was no objection. Gradually, like-minded students from other streams jumped on the bandwagon, making it bigger and better. “Now, our WhatsApp group has 300 members from different parts of the world. Our Instagram account has more than 4000 followers,” says Sam. The members are not only alumni of the college, but anyone who is fond of or pursues art.
Right now, an exhibition titled The Hidden Tales by members of the group are going on at Durbar Hall Art Gallery in Kochi. The show was inaugurated by art director Ajayan Chalissery. “We never thought our group would become such a big platform. This is our second season,” says Sam. So far, they have organised 17 exhibitions across the country. They also conduct workshops, photowalks and sketchwalks to nurture their creativity.
The current show consists of works in various forms and themes by 60 members of the group. Not only photographs, there are paintings and writings too. “The show is not based on a theme. We select the best from our participants’ works,” he says.
The walls are filled with portraits, landscapes — both colourful and monochromatic works. Nature is a prominent theme in the entire show. Some of the creative pieces, in fact, explain how one can be in harmony with the nature or wisely use the resources of the nature. Rahul Sivan’s portrait on jackfruit leaf is an instance.
Another artist has used waste fabric as the canvas to paint his ideas. Interestingly, Krishna, a fellow artist from the group, translated those thoughts into photographs. She says, “The idea is one looking at the surface from under water. The model drenched in water, looking at the camera above conveys that feeling,” she explains.
After travelling through the world of photographs and paintings, one reaches the area where letters speak their minds via poems and short stories. Myriads of thoughts float on the wall, letting viewers relish in them.
The Hidden Tales is open till Wednesday from 11 am to 7 pm....