Chitra Santhe 2018

Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced

– Leo Tolstoy

This was prominently displayed near Karnakata ChitraKala Parishath during the 16th Chitra Santhe that was held on 6th Jan, 2018. The statement succinctly captured the essence of the feelings of the various artists whose works were on display during the Chitra Santhe.  I was visiting this for the second consecutive year. This year again it happened at Kumara Krupa Road, one of the most beautiful avenues in Bangalore. As long as the Karnataka Chief Minister’s residence is located on this road, we can rest assured that the serenity of it will be maintained. Unlike last year, it was not a full-fledged family outing this time. It was just me and my elder daughter, who somehow seems to have lost her passion and creativity in art with time. I faintly hoped that the works on display would rekindle her passion. Having never gone beyond drawing a mountain and a sun, I particularly enjoy seeing such displays of creativity.

The various painting and crafts were displayed on the walls and the pavements on either side the road. The venue was teeming with people. It was a relaxed Sunday outing for many of them, me included. Such events invariably attract photographers both amateurs and professionals. I could see many of them with expensive cameras and even more expensive lenses. There was this one particular guy who sometimes used to prostrate himself on the road to get that perfect angle and shot. Ignorant that I am about photography, seeing this was just about ludicrous. Coming back to the actual event, I somehow felt that many of the paintings were on display last year as well. Yet again paintings of Lord Buddha; Lord Shiva; Naga Sadhus; Kathakali dancers; Horses and Women outnumbered everything else. Maybe there is something about all of the above which bring out the best from artists. The works on display were indeed a visual treat. We must give it to the artists for their passion, talent and perseverance. I could not help imagine if the returns from such works were sufficient to help them pay their bills and more. The venue also had a few artists who drew portraits and caricatures of people on-the-spot, for a small fee. The works on display were for sale as well and it was heartening to see a few art aficionados purchase some of the paintings. On my part, I just stuck to window shopping.

One particular painting [which you can never miss in the collection below] left a lasting impression on me. It was by an artist named Jai Ganesh from Tamil Nadu. It showed a widowed grandmother with her granddaughter. The lady, clearly in her dotage, looked more than content and wore a genuine smile whilst hugging the little one. The little girl on her part was giggling away in the company of her granny. Both of them were perhaps at their respective stages in life where they could give unconditional love to each other. Albeit one who seemed to have sacrificed a lot before reaching this stage and the other just about getting ready to lose this trait. The position of the bangles on the wrists of the little girl was clear evidence of the level of details which the artist had painstakingly gone into. I somehow felt that he used art as a medium to tell us viewers a feeling that he perhaps experienced sometime in his life!

A picture is worth a thousand words. Hence I will let the pictures speak for themselves rather than me doing injustice to them.

NOTE : I have not taken any explicit permission before posting these pictures. Hence please do not copy, download or misuse these wonderful emotive reflections. I sincerely hope that I am not infringing on any copy rights or doing any harm to the artists. I am hoping the works reach a wider audience, which is the sole purpose of posting these pictures.

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