Pallette 2009

A group of 26 artists from Kerala exhibited their paintings at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat. The IIC gallery hosts an exhibition of the cartoon collection of K R Swamy, titled ‘Laughter Dose’.

Baijudev, Benny Paul, Bijoy Velekkatte, Devidas Varma, Dr Mohan K G, Gireesan V S, Gireesan Bhattathiripad, Gopi P S, Jayan Pudumana, Jose P O, Krishnana Mallissery, Manikandan Punnakkal, M A Venu, Mohan Alankode, Nandakumar, N B Lathadevi, Renjan P C, Revathi Venu, Roy Thomas, Satheesan, Sasidharan, Sasi Kandoth, Shadanan Anikkath, Sivadas, Venugopal and Viswanath P I displayed the paintings that they had created specially for this show called Pallette 2009.

Painitng by M.A.Venu (Pic: Lakshmi Menon)

Painting by M.A.Venu (Pic: Lakshmi Menon)

With such a huge number of participants, one can only imagine the variety and size of the show. Most of the work was abstract art, with oil on canvas as the media. Though these artists are immensely talented, most of them do not make a living off their paintings alone, but are involved in the field of creative arts in some way or the other.

One among them was the Malayalam film director, M A Venu, who exhibited his colourful and profound abstract art. The chief priest of the Sree Krishna temple in Kunnathurmedu in Palakkad, was another participant. Then there was the graphic designer Devidas Varma, an expert in landscape painting.

Mural painting by Manikandan punnakkal

Mural painting by Manikandan punnakkal (Pic: Lakshmi Menon)

Special mention must be made of the intricate mural paintings that were on display. Mural art, originally found on temple walls in Kerala, is not an art that is very popular and the artists who have excelled in this art have not been much appreciated. The paintings are made with natural colours that are vegetable-dye based. With their curves, outlines and colourful backgrounds, this is a unique art. I had the pleasure of meeting one of the mural artists –  Sasidharan, who was extremely excited about the turnout for the exhibition and the response to his work. He combines mural art with contemporary art, bringing out the best of both worlds.

There was a sizeable presence on the first day itself and the artists saw a good number of their paintings being sold.

A dose of laughter

The Indian Institute of Cartoonists (IIC) is a small, neat gallery tucked away in the busiest area of Bangalore. Despite its existence for over a year, until recently I hadn’t even heard of it. As if that weren’t bad enough, I met a whole lot of other people who didn’t know this facility existed either. (See earlier article about IIC on Citizen Matters.)

The IIC, a first of its kind venture, has been established with the ambitious plan of promoting the art of cartooning in India. Other than promoting and supporting budding cartoonists, the institute will also have training workshops that will help a beginner develop and grow.

Presently, the gallery is hosting an exhibition of the cartoon collection of K R Swamy, titled ‘Laughter Dose’. Swamy has had over 15,000 cartoons published in almost all Kannada newspapers and periodicals. Apart from the widespread critical acclaim he has received, Swamy has been honoured by the Karnataka Cartoonists Association, Kannada Sahitya  Parishat and Karnataka Electricity Board. A resident of Bangalore, he stays in Vasanthapura.

The collection was based on the humour seen in day-to-day life. I cannot stop smiling even now thinking of some of these cartoons.  One worth mentioning shows how premier restaurants give you a huge bill that includes the rates for the salute received at the door. Another depicts a family going for a movie and ending up seeing the daily soap on television placed in the cafeteria.

IIC is located in the basement of Midford House, Midford Garden, which is on a road to the left of Big Kids Kemp on M G Road. The show is on till 28th March.

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