HARMONY OF LINE AND FORM-
IQBAL SEERE VALAPPIL-
An artist’s sources of inspiration are as vivid as the vividness of life itself. His inspirations induce in him an urge to translate his impressions conjoined with imagination to materialize them on a chosen medium. Sometimes it is the immediate nature around which coaxes him to recreate imaginatively the beauty experienced yet other times it is the perceived artistic manifestations predisposed to the sensitivity of the artist which serve as the spring board to his individual creations.
My work is rooted in both, the nature and the predisposed artistic manifestations. The design and the decorative motifs or forms, which inhabit the cultural ethos of India, are synthesized in my work and suggesting my own style. It is the harmony of line and shape that cohere together in a mutual dialogue to suggest a joyous form. An element of decorative pattern enters into my work, which in turn becomes an integral part of the design of the form and ultimately the image that I create. The linear lyricism and the patterned articulated geometrical shapes create a rhythm that is orchestrated as though in a folk performance of Theyyam and kooddiyattam etc. the most impressive dance and theatrical forms of Kerala, the land with its rich cultural heritage.
The biggest influence in my work is India and its diverse folk traditions. Growing up in the Country’s southernmost state of Kerala, I was surrounded by the region’s rich tradition of folk culture. An influence that manifested itself strongly in my work in the form of the circular motions that makes up everyday Indian ness. Be it the rhythmic walk of an Indian woman, the full-bodied shapes of age-old temple carvings, movement of any classical dance like Bharat Natyam, Koochupudi, Kathakali, Mohiniyatam or even the rounded script of Indian languages. Every brush stroke is a journey into the essence of being Indian. Especially unmistakable are the inspirations from Kerala Colourful landscape, architectural designs of temples and its various festivals and the decorative motifs of folk performing art and even got direct influence from the very graphic theme Theyyam's 36 face designs with stylized yet lyrical geometrical lines and shapes enhanced by bold colours that make the faces simultaneously seem hidden as well as obvious.
Apart from painting I spend time for reading of spiritual books and for meditation.
Education : BFA-Painting, from Goa College of Art (1983)
(Then affiliated to Bombay University)
Award : Maharashtra Hindu Association award- 1983
Goa Kala Academy award- 1984
Exhibitions : Participated various art exhibitions in India and abroad.
Group Shows : Goa Kala Academy- annual exhibition - 1983
Goa Kala Academy- annual exhibition - 1984
Goa Kala Academy- annual exhibition - 1985
Group Exhibition at Goa Taj Resorts - 1986
Group Exhibition in Calicut, Kerala – 1992
Group Exhibition in Kannur, Kerala – 1993
Group Exhibition in Dubai, Organized by Dubai Art lovers association – 1995 – 1998 – 2002 – 2003 – 2005 - 2008
Group Exhibition in Dubai at Majestic Hotel – 2006
Kaleidoscope – Indo Arab exhibition organized by Indian embassy
in Dubai at Jumeira Ladies Club – 2009
Participation in DSF Dubai- Live painting 3m X 1.5 m. - 2010
Participation in BAF- Bastakia Art Fair - 2010
Residence : 1987 onwards Living in Dubai.
Medium : Oil on canvas, Acrylic on canvas, Pen & ink on paper.
Address : P.O Box : 12437, Dubai U A E.
Mobile : +971 55 1383193.
My journey out of realism started during my academic years. Study of folk culture influenced my work directly. I started leaving realism and gradually entered into the contemporary art form.
It was a sudden jump into the folk culture of Kerala-in my village. Though I have been seeing this rituals and performances right from the childhood, I have never been closer to that and never knew in detail.
Spent days and nights with performing artists, traditional drummers, makeup artists, traditional folk singers and in the Temples and Shrines. ‘Theyyam ‘is the name of this folk performing art form. More than 100 types of ‘Theyyams’ are there even today though very few disappeared. For Theyyam they use 36 different types of facial writings – facial decorations. These writings are based on the type of character , as per the story and depending on the deity on which it is dedicated for. Theyyam uses a lot of red color which I think is the complimentary color for green back drop of Kerala. Theyyam has one and only composition style which is nothing but symmetry. Round head gear, strong drum beats, fire, blood from the sacrificed animals, palm leaves and high decorations are the main characteristics of this folk culture.
- Yellow Face.
Birth of this painting happened at the time of economic recession. Dubai is one of the place in the world which directly affected what recession is all about. Common man’s helplessness, outcry anger, uncertainty and struggle for survival all reflected in this work. Of course it not a pleasant composition; violence is its very nature, the application of colors and the approach to lines gives totally different dimension of expressionism. My usual decorative patterns and colors made the composition, still it gives a different vibe all together. It is because of I am sensitive to my surroundings and fellow beings.
Every community every place have a quota of writers, singers, poets, musicians and artists. Strength of such creative people mostly depends on the amount of thirst such community invoked for. Vice versa an artist’s life is obliged to give back to society with whatever faculty he is enriched with. It is artist’s responsibility that he should convey the message from non ordinary reality to ordinary reality by means of visual forms. By bringing unknown to known in the form of painting an artist justifies his time on earth. Painting is a divine karma, an artist should purify himself to execute such a gesture fr the society.
I invoke consciousness into painting. Painting generally takes the vibration of painter during the act of painting. Quality of such vibration mostly depends on what state an artist would have been when he is working. With inner purification and conscious effort he can invoke positive vibration into the painting. Such work will bring luck and changes to the place where it is being hung.
This painting gave me tremendous joy after completing. I enjoyed freedom of sketching. It is letting my hand to go on its own. Letting the lines to romance with colors and harmony. When the forms danced with lines and showered in colors it gives an experience that you are in the valley of heaven, a ‘Satori’.
‘Satori’ is blossoming of malty petal lotus in the Sahsrara (Crown Chakra) This particular painting touches many facets of South Indian school. Composition of the painting reflects the folk performance art of north Kerala, specially ‘Theyyam’. If I give visual forms and colors to the movements of Indian classical dances and Indian alphabets the result will reach at the corridor of my paintings. ‘Satori is one of them.
Indian thinking, the body language, Indian classical dances, alphabets, religious rituals, traditional deity forms… all carries a kind of roundness in its essence with rich rhythmic design quality. It is all inter related and inter connected because they are all taken birth from the same womb of one culture.
Human facial expressions and its tremendous variety is my fascination and wonder. In my work of faces I don’t even depend on the base structures of anatomy. Forms and lines exists on its own anatomical base. Distorted though yet finds its right place in the composition, without breaking the balance and gives a sense of perfection.
I use a lot of geometrical forms and rhythmic lines. All that dancing forms and rhythmic lines are the irrational side of existence and geometrical forms are nothing but rational side. Irrational is the female element and rational is the male element. I bring both this elements side by side in my composition to represent the cosmic dance of Shiva & Shakhty or the Yin & Yang of Tao. When Painting appears in my mind it is always colorful which I think is the influence of Kerala back drop.
This work is a surrealistic composition. I just followed my thought process and feelings and drawn whatever comes in mind. This is the result of three weeks contemplation with 1 pointed black ink pen on paper. Each image drawn here is in other way depicting the awareness. Awareness and drawing as a picture of the same will purify the inner self. Every step in the composition is a bigger step in the purification of self and a journey towards the inner being.
When I started to work certain elements started to appear in the composition. In the same direction I proceeded. Mindscape also gives picture of inner reality and our existence, adverse forces and in the midst of all chaos seeking of truth – that is the Buddha statue.
In this direction I need to meditate more and reach for the unconscious to gather whatever images and feelings appearing on the way. The result will be more and more mindscapes and purification of self.
- Dancing Girl.
From horizontal cityscape suddenly there is a vertical growth with lots of green. This composition represents very much a middle east vibration of present time. Dancing girl is the celebration as city with dull colors is sleeping past. Sleeping city is given a horizontal approach and the dancing girl is given vertical approach.
We are horizontal at night and vertical during the day. Horizontal is passive, sleeping, night and dull where as vertical is on the contrary very much active, vibrant and positive. The green color and dance reflected on the cityscape, means dancing girl brings life on the cityscape. This is the new beginning of this land. Green is the dream color of desert. Dancing girl is mother earth.