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Of Kerala’s tropical charm & India’s mystical spectrum

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A week-long painting exhibition of artist Eby N Joseph titled ‘Bharatha Darsanam’, which depicts the social, cultural and geographical diversity of the country, began at the Roerich Art Gallery, Russian Cultural Centre, in the city on Monday. ‘Bharatha Darsanam’ is a continuation of his earlier project, ‘Kerala Darsanam’, which comprises 1,000 paintings and talks more about the landscape, history and culture of Kerala.

The exhibition with the subtitle ‘From the tropical charm of Kerala to the mystical spectrum of India’, was inaugurated by chief minister Oommen Chandy. The first part of ‘Bharartha Darsanam’ is titled ‘Kerala and Gujarat’, which consists of 25 paintings in acrylic on canvas. Streets of Porbandar, the birth place of Mahatma Gandhi, and the breathtaking landscapes of Kerala are depicted in this part. A conscious effort by the artist to walk away from the cliche portraits of Gandhiji is evident. Instead, he has sketched a Gandhiji reading books, in the backdrop of his village.

“When I tried to learn more about India, I realized that its biodiversity and rich culture are topics beyond my aptitude to understand. I am deeply indebted to the impressionist painters, especially Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet and Edouard Manet,” said Eby.

Besides all these, Eby has another mission to accomplish. The artist has given life to Art Can Care, a forum that aims at the effective engagement of cancer patients. The artist, who was diagnosed with cancer during his painting marathon in 2008, later discovered that the person in him was stronger after treatment than before the illness. Famous oncologist Dr V P Gangadaharan inspired him to set his own life an example for the numerous cancer patients around. “Cancer patients must be supported more with enhancing their mental health,” said Eby.

“Exploitation under the guise of modern treatment is a serious issue, which the society must take up. This prompted us to go ahead with Art Can Care to help poor patients. Gandhiji, who went into the midst of the riot-affected people during the time of India’s independence, is my role model,” Eby added. His exhibition at Thiruvananthapuram will be followed by shows at the Russian cultural centres in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.

Times of India

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