Saturday was earmarked as a potential day of rest – meaning doing just this and a little bit of that, like a quick visit to my hairdresser, like trying to bake a cake, doing some housework, checking out some clothes which possibly could be packed for our one month long trip to Bangkok early next month, etc.etc. etc. when my husband found 2 small articles in some of our local newspapers.
About one exhibition I wrote yesterday and this second one was about a small painting exhibition which was being held by Niranjana Varma, who is a member (on her father’s side) of the proud and ancient Royal family of Cochin, to be precise, of Tripunithura the capital of the former Kingdom of Cochin.
Painting exhibitions are to be found in our city a-plenty, and history is mostly read from books, but what really aroused my interest here was that Niranjana had painted scenes from the daily life in this area, especially around the famous Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple, considered one of the greatest Temples in Kerala, directly onto the Silk Sarees which were on display and up for sale. Ad since it is Festival Season at the Temple buyers for those unique hand painted silky works of art were aplenty. The artist used acrylic paint to immortalise her vision on silk.
She grew up in this area and knows how to capture the daily routine of the people living there, including the beloved Aana’s (Elephants) like no other artist.
I have to admit – I could not resist and so I bought 2 of her long hand painted silk shawls, one for each daughter. And since both are traditionalists I know they will like their little gifts. And should they not want to wear them they can be framed like paintings – which in fact they are.
All over the world, in every city or village somewhere we find something which should be rescued from men and the elements of time and preserved for posterity. But most of the time funds are short or don’t exist at all in order to go ahead and do the necessary and before one knows time has taken its toll on those buildings etc. and before long they have fallen completely into disrepair.
The same thing is happening here too. I did not know, that there are still 33 such old buildings in Tripunithura alone, and everyone of those buildings is classified as a Royal Palace. And as Niranjana explained to me “… since I cannot rebuild those ancient palaces, I at least keep them on paper for posterity…”
I did not have time to photograph all of her 33 water colours, but I do hope you enjoy the small selection of her work.
When I finally had to say good bye for the day since Niranjana and I had to rush off to some other appointments, we were joined by her very charming parents and I promised to return soon for a lengthy talk (or better, listening!) on Tripunithura’s history and tradition and who would be a better source than K.T.Ravi Varma Sir and his wife Hemalatha Varma.
(Disclaimer: The review is published on the basis of my visit to the exhibition and it is expressly stated that I have no dealings whatsoever with the artists or items displayed. CS)