Monthly Archive: September 2018

Visual Short Stories

Visual Short stories of K.Srinivasa Chary

K.Srinivasa Chary is interviewed by Dr.M.Balamani

One of the concepts of Modern and Contemporary arts’ is to revive our traditional arts and techniques for renewed meanings. Kolacharam Srinivasa Chary, teaching painting at P.S.Telugu University Hyderabad works with Egg Tempera technique. He narrates the rural life as an imagery of pleasant dreams moving in front of us, as short stories of History.

I-Your compositions look soft and beautiful, feel like to look at them again and again.

Chary-That beauty is because of the egg tempera medium.

I-Have you worked always in this medium?

Chary-Since 1986 I have been working in this medium. When I was studying in JNTU Fine Arts College Hyderabad, retired Prof. Vidya Bhushan came to the college and gave a demonstration on egg tempera technique. He was the best in this technique. Senior artists like Laxma Gaud came to see that demonstration. I liked that style very much. I have been working since then in this medium.

I-From where did you get your first inspiration to paint in your childhood?

Chary-Till I reached 7th, 8th standard, I did not have any understanding about anything, neither I was good at studies or had any understanding about painting. We are goldsmiths by profession and lived in a joint family. My father could do free hand drawing of necklace chain designs of one side and my cousin used to copy on the second half exactly the same. No one told me any work because I was not good at anything. But it is difficult to predict who gets the inspiration at what time. My cousin once copied Hanuman picture in oil on a 4,6 ft. canvas. I enjoyed that painting very much. I started drawing and copying small images. I used to go to RSS branch and realized some discipline there and that seeped into my work and routine. After the schooling I have taken science stream for studies because some drawing is involved in science curriculum. My teacher asked me to draw a frog picture on the board once. Including girls in the class everyone appreciated my drawing. I was happy. I used to draw the portraits of our teachers who were getting retired and gifted them on the farewell functions. All the college appreciated. I was very happy and that time I decided I will become an artist.

I-Why did you get the idea of painting and gifting portraits?

Chary-Mr.Liyakat Hussain was painting wonderful portraits. Mr.Venugopal Reddy, my elder brother’ friend, working in milk centre, was painting beautiful realistic paintings. I liked both and wanted to paint real like portraits and started copying.

I-When did you join the art college?

Chary-I joined in 1981. I got the seat in both Veterinary Medicine and Fine Arts College. My father wanted me to join Veterinary Medicine. He used to think artists are mad people. But I wanted to join Arts. Because of the support of my elder brother’ friend I could join JNTU Fine Arts College in Hyderabad.

I-What is your native palace?

Chary-My father is from Kolacharam. We lived in Zaheerabad because of family profession.

I-Who were the teachers whom you liked the most in art college?

Chary-Vasudevarao Kapatria, Kondapalli Seshagirirao, Gourishankar, Vidya Bhushan, Kavita Deuskar, many… When I joined the college, I used to wear Kurta and Tilak on forehead. First day of college when I reached with this attire, Kondapalli Seshagirirao was standing at the front entrance. He was wearing similar attire all the time. He called me and talked to me. I took commercial art branch specialization thinking I would get the employment easily. He advised me to take Painting specialization because he liked my drawing. When I was speaking to Vasudevarao, he gave me an interesting exercise. He asked me to visit cinema poster making people’ activity one day and Salarjung Museum another day. He explained me then, cinema poster kind paintings will remain only for a week, but our painting should remain for many ages like museum paintings. I shifted to painting specialization.

I-Most of the time you paint people and association of goats and rural life. Do you paint them as a symbol of Telangana life?

Chary-I did not start painting them as any symbol. When I joined for master degree in Central University Hyderabad, Laxma Gaud was our teacher. He used to send us out for sketching the natural atmosphere. I came from rural background. I sketched and draw rural life, markets, their life styles, blankets on their shoulders as their symbolic costume, their modest behavior when they come to cities. All those drawings come to my compositions even today.

I-Hyderabad architectural lattice windows also appear in you compositions along with rural people.

Chary-When I was in Master degree at Central University, DLN Reddy was also our teacher. He encouraged us to think more than the regular and work beyond the boundary and experiment. I started combining what I see what I feel and what I understand. My work has changed a lot gradually.

I-Figures and forms of your compositions look like flat cardboard pictures, walking in dreams.

Chary-I went to Vanasthali in Rajasthan to learn Mural painting. I did my M.Phil in 2006 on Bhimbhetka rock paintings of Madhya Pradesh. Both must have influenced my work.

I-Where did you exhibit first as a professional artist?

Chary-I participated in a group exhibition at Max Muller Bhavan, Hyderabad after my Master degree. Few of us were working together in a studio at Nampalli. Laxma Gaud helped us as his students and I could exhibit in Delhi, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai. Because of the teaching I get less time but I have been continuously participating in group exhibitions.

[Original interview article of this article is published in Telugu, in Sopathi, Sunday magazine of Navatelangana news papers on 23rd September 2018.]

Manisha Parekh-Forms of Script style of her own

Manisha Parekh-Forms of Script style of her own

What if a child’ day raises and night falls surrounded by colors and heaps of canvases? Is one going to imagine beyond the colors in the days to come? That is Manisha Parekh, who has seen art since childhood because of her artist parents. Colors and brushes were her surroundings like playmates and toys of a child. Her imagination transcended the colors and beyond in the days to come.

One of the important languages of art is in the style of minimal expression. Manisha explored maximum possibilities in that style. She enjoys using different materials and knitting the designs, arranging the materials of installations. Of course she uses colors but colors are less dominant in her compositions, and creates an art expression of her own style. She designs the forms in a harmonious and rhythmic way. Life and nature has it’s own robust and delicate tunes twined with each other. For example a creeper, saplings and leaves or flowers create their own harmony with each other. That harmony is infectious to rope us too in.

The materials she uses are the organic materials like paper, wood, ropes, textiles, jute, clay and those are traditionally used in the folk arts. She finds new meanings in rare combinations of materials that were not found earlier. For example paper on wall or on floor, will differ the platter of meanings as per it’s base and combination. Similarly form of a circle if it is combined with a half circle, can lead to one another different form of delicate meanings. If a rope is arranged as a loop on a linear thread, does not it look like a 3 dimensional form of a script? Some of her works look like embroidered threads or sprouted roots narrating the future tree or shrub and their upcoming stories. Titles of her exhibitions too lead the similar meanings, “Shadow Gardens” is the title of her London show, “Wooden Woods” of exhibition at Bodhi Art, “Memory membrane” at Sakshi gallery. She exhibited internationally at Germany, Havana, Istambul, etc, also at Indian galleries. Another point to acknowledge her contribution to the field of art is she is the founder member of “Khoj” a platform for artists who believe in experimentation.

She completed her formal education of art under graduate and Post graduation studies at Faculty of Fine Arts Baroda. She did M.A at Royal college of London on Inlaks Foundation scholarship. Baroda Fine Arts Faculty has a curriculum. Students have to complete around 100 or 200 sketches and submit to their tutor every day. That fine tunes the hands of drawing of students. It seems she never liked that practice. Manisha does not begin her work on the basis of sketches or preplanned drawings. She picks the choicest materials, club with or arranges along with another material or color over it as per the direction of her thought process and creates the art works. Manisha’ work is adorable not only because of her contemporary conceptual understanding, she based her work in those materials of folk art and designing the forms and figures of craft practices with new meanings.

Dr.M.Balamani

[This article is my broad translation of my original article in Telugu about Manisha Parekh published in Sopathi, Sunday magazine, Navatelangana News paper on 16th September, 2018]

Tones of Black

Vijay Bagodi-Tones of Black and White

Interviewed by Dr.M.Balamani

Vijay Bagodi born in a modest family from Gulbarga, except drawing and painting, reading and writing was never tasteful for him. He never knew that drawing and painting can become a carrier to feed bread and butter. He never knew till he reached Baroda that such magnum institutes can exist for art teaching. That Vijay is the Dean of Fine Arts Faculty of Baroda today.

His work is one of the explanations for contemporary arts. Black was considered as a colour of dismay and sorrow but he proved otherwise. He expressed many and different expressions in one colour. Social struggles and situations and the meanings of people’ behavior are given forms and figures in his work. He created the forms of one tone but to visualize difference of good and bad.

My conversation with him—

How much your parents were aware of Fine Arts?

Nothing. No idea at all. My mother used to do some craft works like decorating the gods and goddesses frames and pictures, using the buttons like objects. As far as my father is concerned artists are those who used to paint sign boards, whom he saw beside the shop where he was working. When I was studying Fine Arts he was looking forward when I would start my earnings by writing the sign boards! My parents were ignorant of this discipline.

What kind of paintings you did in your childhood?

I used to copy gods and goddesses figures. There was one local artist Mr.V.G.Andani. He started teaching art in a local art school, Ideal Fine Arts School established by his teacher Mr.Khanderao, who studied in J.J.School Mumbai. I joined that art school after completing my SSLC.

Have your parents permitted you to join the Fine Arts course?

My father did not agree. He insisted that art does not get an employment and wanted me to join other course. I joined Commerce but continued to go to Andani’ school for learning painting. I like the method of learning at that school. There was no difference of classrooms. Whether one is in first year or in final year, every one sits together to practice the painting.

Have you completed your Diploma there?

No. Mr. Andani wanted me to study in J.J.School of Art Mumbai. But I needed Domicile certificate to join J.J Fine Arts in those days. I joined Latur Fine arts school for one year and obtained the certificate. But I cannot afford to go to Mumbai for studying at J.J School of Fine Arts. Karnataka Lalit Kala Akademy was granting scholarships for students who would study further in distant colleges. My friend applied on my behalf. When I attended the interview I was pleasantly surprised to meet two senior artists K.K.Hebber and S.G.Vasudev. Hebber appreciated my drawing and painting and advised me to get admission in Baroda Fine Arts faculty. Till then I never heard about this college. It was his encouragement I came to join painting course in Baroda Fine Arts faculty.

Did you find any difference in learning at Gulbarga and Baroda?

Keep aside the learning of art, I had a cultural shock when I came to Baroda. I came from a small place. Everyone was speaking English in Baroda. It was a surprise further to see painting, sculpture, commercial arts, print making, pottery, so much of detailed learning in fine arts here. I only know ‘one room learning’ art school.

Earlier there were many beliefs in our minds that every part of the body and composition should be complete, drawing should look like real, sketching is only for practice, drawing is different and it cannot be a form of art expression. After coming to Baroda many such myths were broken, of course I observed Laxma Gaud creating wonderful drawings, even before I came to Baroda. I joined Baroda in 1979. After couple of years when Gulam Mohd.Sheikh joined teaching, narrative style of painting became popular amongst the students. I too was painting my surroundings as a story narration. I used to think earlier that if we copy the paintings of famous artists like Hussain, we too would become popular. But after coming to Baroda I understood that one has to create one’ own style and expression.

Could you make friends with students here?

Only with those who came from similar backgrounds. To add up to the situation, we did not get the hostel room for the first 6 months. That too happened for a good I feel today. Till late nights we used to sketch and draw sitting in the railway station, come and sleep beside the college watchman when we were tired in the nights.

You studied under the tutelage of internationally known teachers in Baroda…

Yes. But I know all these artists names earlier also. Our teacher, Andani used to show us the images of these artists works and used tell us about them as part of Art History he taught us. Once we exhibited a group show in Hyderabad under his guidance. I saw Sri.Laxma Goud there for the first time. His drawing and print making method inspires me even today. He encouraged us a lot.

What were the later changes in your style?

I was stirred by communal struggles, natural calamities and social situations. I am preoccupied always ‘how to represent those issues in an artistic language.

When did you join Baroda Print Making Dept.?

I studied Diploma in Painting Dept. from 1979 to 84. That time it was 2 years foundation course before proceeding to specialization. Then I studied Post Diploma from 84 to 86 in Print Making Dept. Immediately I joined teaching at CAVA fine arts college for teaching. I wanted to be near to my home, I am the eldest son of my parents. After 6 years of teaching I came to Baroda and joined teaching in Print Making Dept.

Have you created black and white art works alone all through?

When I was doing painting I worked in colors. One cannot use many colors in print making. But that has resulted into a good exploration for me. For an artist black is also a colour. I enjoy expressing many feelings and expressions in black and white including joyous moments and happiness.

Who were the teachers who influenced you?

There are many. K.G.Subramanyan, Jyoti Bhatt, Vinod Shah, Ramesh Pandya, Dhumal, Nasreen, Andani like that many teachers helped in different directions.

What is your message for the younger generation of artists and students of Baroda Fine Arts faculty as a Dean of this faculty?

Never lose confidence in yourself at any point. Believe in yourself that would find a way for you. Never run behind name, fame and money. Otherwise we cannot enjoy the success and failure of life in an equal pan and we become greedy of uncertainty.

[This is a translation of the interview article published in Sopathi, Sunday magazine of Navatelangana Telugu news paper on 9th September 2018.]