Usha Ramachandran's sculptures induce a sense of ‘wow' in the ordinary
At 61, artist Usha Ramachandran says, she thinks and breathes only art. Earlier on, as a homemaker, the duty of raising a family and following her artistic call together was proving to be a difficult proposition. Now with achieving one well she is on her way to finding fulfilment in a vocation she taught herself to grow and bloom. Her exhibition of sculptures, ‘Life Flows Like This', on at Kashi Art Gallery, Fort Kochi, is a delightful depiction of everyday life.
Life that casts itself around quotidian images like that of the cyclist, the fish hawker, angler, a namboothiri priest, a rainy day and such touches and connects with any and every viewer. There's hardly the need to stoke one's intellectual faculties but what is ruffled gently and joyfully is your heart, as the viewer rejoices in the simplicity of daily life, in the beauty of commonality that enjoins us in a single thread of humanity. Usha's show uplifts in the first view.
The ordinariness of a washerwoman in action is breathtakingly caught in ‘The Little Laundress'. The movement of the cloth caught mid air is dexterously cast in bronze.
In ‘On The Move', Usha has captured the hurry burry of walkers rushing to catch the tube. “I was in London and was struck by the rush that people were caught in. I noted the image and cast it when I returned.” ‘Back Home' captures the joyous expression of the returnee just as in the ‘Cliffhanger', the tension on the visage of the men is effectively caught.
Usha who lives in Thiruavanthapuram is originally from Thalassery. Coming from an army background she says that the itinerant living in the services aroused her curiosity to different aspects of life and art. It was only after her filial duties done that she took up painting and sculpting seriously. “I am a self taught artist,” she says but credits V. Satheesan, an art teacher, for teaching her the “nitty gritty” of sculpting.
The technique used by her is to make the model out of bees wax, castor oil and “kundhirikkam” (incense) and then cast it in bronze, with a gilded finish. Usha who paints too has now moved into sculpting wood. And though she enjoys working in both mediums it is sculpting that she finds more challenging. And if on a certain day she does not paint or sculpt she feels that her day is lost.
The show is on till the end of September and the prices range from Rs.25,000- 60,000.