First art show at Kochi’s Mahakavi G Sankarakurup Memorial showcases Kerala women artists

Celin Jacob’s installation

The Mahakavi G Sankara Kurup Memorial on Abraham Madamakkal Road (at the end of Marine Drive, near Mangalavanam) appears mirage-like under the midday sun. Tucked in away from the main road, another unpaved ‘road’ leads to it. The multi-level triangular structure is as impressive from outside as inside. The first art show at its art gallery is the Kerala Contemporary Women Painters, an exhibition of paintings, sculptures and installations. 

“Usually what happens, with group shows such as this, is that barely two or three women artists would figure. I wanted to use this opportunity to showcase the works of women artists spanning a couple of generations, from TK Padmini to Sajitha Sankar, Anuradha Nalapat, Radha Gomathi and Rathi Devi to Sooraja KS, Kajal Deth and Celin Jacob,” says Bindhi Rajagopal, artist and curator of the show. A couple of her works are also on show.  

Prints of TK Padmini’s paintings

Prints of TK Padmini’s paintings
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At the outset Bindhi confesses she has not been able to get some of the works she would have liked to showcase such as originals of the late TK Padmini’s ‘Nilavu’ and ‘Pattam Parathunna Penkutty’. The two paintings are with the artist’s family. They are hesitant to give the paintings for show since they could get damaged if not handled with care. Bindhi got the works printed on canvas. Likewise fans of Sajitha Shankar’s works too might be disappointed as they would have to make do with diminutive [the artist’s paintings span more than a few feet] prints of her paintings. The logistical issues of acquiring paintings aside, the curator has managed to put together an interesting show, worth a visit.  

The other participating artists are Victoria Charles, Lekha Narayanan, Nijeena Neelambaran, Sindu Divakaran, Latha Devi NB, Ponmani Thomas, Jalaja PS, Sara Hussain, Deepthi P Vasu, Lekha Vyloppilly, Sabitha Kadannappaly, Sithara KV, Nayana KS, Asha Nandan, Sruthi Siv Kumar, Jayasree PG, Smija Vijayan, Babitha Rajiv and EN Shanthi.

Varying preoccupations, forms and mediums of expression find space in this uniquely shaped gallery. Gender roles, Nature, society, self, metaphysical concerns and even COVID-19 are depicted. The show is a peek into how while some artists explore new ways of expression and expressing, there is another set which is finding its artistic vocabulary without inhibitions. 

The show is on till February 14, from 11am to 7pm.  

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