Chennai: Renowned artist A.P. Shreethar’s silicon statue of former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, which adorns the APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial at his hometown in Rameswaram, was unveiled by Prime Minister Modi on Thursday.
“Earlier, I have done a few 3D paintings of Dr Abdul Kalam and I knew the latter’s family well. His grandnephew Sheik Salim has referred my name to DRDO (Defence Research And Development Organization) with whom Dr Kalam was associated for a long and they were entrusted with the job of constructing Ayya’s memorial,” Shreethar told DC.
Apparently, a team of officers under Colonel Chobay had visited Shreethar’s studios and museums in Chennai and saw all his previous works. “They were impressed with my various types of paintings, murals and silicon statutes and commissioned the job to me,” he said.
On the preparations he said, “The team gave me 8,000 pictures of Dr Abdul Kalam for reference and I chose 95 out of them from various stages of his life and painted them. I framed 700 pictures as well. And the best part was making the silicon statues of Kalam ayya, one of which was a replica of how he would present himself at the Presidential suite at New Delhi. That was amazing and even our Prime Minister Narendra Modiji stood near that statue and took pictures there.”
A team of 15 members for his paintings for two months and nine-member team for the statues have worked tirelessly for the prestigious project.
So, how does Sreethar feel when the task was accomplished? “Kalam ayya who lived a simple life was always the ‘People’s President’ and a true inspiration to many. Undoubtedly, It was the biggest honor and memorable project in my artistic career.”
Reportedly, after inaugurating the memorial, PM Modi who went around the place spent few minutes with each painting and when he came near the ‘Distinctive’ painting where Shreethar has captured 50 different emotions of APJ Abdul Kalam in a single canvas, there was a big smile on his face and he had said, ‘it is very good.’