KOCHI: Ethereal sights beyond mortal vision mesmerises Murali A M the most. While the theme of his earlier painting exhibition, ‘Yet to Discover’ was the wild blue yonder, the theme of the ongoing exhibition ‘Suspending Disbelief to Believe’ at Nanappa Art Gallery, is subterranean sights that one can see beyond the earth. “One often has very little idea about what is underneath the earth. We build our imagination based on books that we read, and the pictures that we see. The imageries that come to our mind often balances reality and illusions.” says Murali, a visiting faculty as NIFT, Hyderabad who hails from Shornnur.
Spiralling flight of stairs that leads to deep caverns, the volcanic rocks, cubic structures with three dimensional effects are the motifs in the paintings. The three dimensional images that can be viewed from all angles jolt the optical balance of the viewers. “The paintings that travel between reality and surrealism show reality through one’s imagination.” Murali who approaches landscapes in a scientific point of view says, “My works are driven by scientific discoveries. They are approached in an inquisitive manner sans any emotionalism.”
There are certain paintings that resembles the intricately carved stepwells of Rajasthan and Gujarat. “I was largely attracted by the large stepwell of North India, which unlike our temple wells and the wells that were seen in the ancestral houses, were larger in size. Walking down memory lane, many of the sepia tinted images of my childhood that I thought to have forgotten flooded my mind. The unknown far-off lands that I saw in national geographical channel was also an inspiration for me," he says.
Contrary to general perception that underneath, everything is dark, bright hues have been used in Murali's paintings. The artist explains this saying it is wrong to believe that it is dark and dingy below. The world below may be bright and alluring and therefore he has purposefully used bright colours. Murali says that no piece stands alone in this series as he conceived all the 17 paintings as a whole.
Murali has not confined his affinity towards space to paintings. He has created an animation film namely ‘Understanding the Universe, Big Bang Theory and Me’ in 2003. It was an animation film made using 2800 hand made paintings. The exhibition will conclude on May 13.