Kochi: It was a dream come true for Anil Karthika, a small-time artisan from a remote village in North Kerala, who will sculpt characters of the state’s traditional art forms in wood to be showcased in the famous ‘Manchester Day Parade’ in the UK.
The 36-year-old resident of Mavungal in Kasargod’s Kanhangad has been entrusted with the work by the Kerala Tourism, which has tied up with Manchester administration for a long-term cultural exchange programme.
“It was always my dream to visit a foreign country. But I never thought I'd be flying out as part of my traditional occupation – sculpture. I’ve always based my works on temples and traditional art themes, especially Theyyam,” Mr Karthika, also a Chenda percussionist-cum-drama artist, told DC.
He will be making three-dimensional representative forms of 16-feet high ‘Kettukala’ (ceremonial display of wooden horses during temple festivals), Theyyam (three), Kathakali (two), Yakshaganam (two) and Pookavadi (four).
“Two others, students of Kerala State Institute of Design, have been selected by the Responsible Tourism Mission to help me. We’ll be leaving on a 45-day trip by May first week. The authorities there will arrange the wood and required tools,” Mr Karthika, a member of the RT Art and Cultural Forum, said.
"The highlight will be Theyyam, a ritualistic dance form performed in erstwhile Kolathunadu region that will be of great interest to art lovers across the world. I’ve studied deep into nearly 400 versions of Theyyam to reflect them in my works.”
Manchester Day Parade is the annual cultural show of the city scheduled to fall on June 23 this time. Mr Karthika, who sculpts both on wood and cement, said he was getting a lot of work orders ever since he registered with the RT Art and Cultural Forum.
“The forum has been set up to bring the martial, ritual and performing art practitioners into the limelight by directly connecting them to the tourism industry and the public,” said Rupesh Kumar, RT Mission coordinator.
As part of cultural exchange programme, Kerala Tourism will be part of Manchester Day Parade, annual cultural show of the city, which is scheduled to fall on June 23 this year....