‘Degree Show 2019’ displays diverse collection of artworks by students of the College of Fine Arts in Thiruvananthapuram

Paintings, sculptures, installations and applied art works on show at the college art galleries in Thiruvananthapuram

Smack at the centre of the gallery stands a motionless rooster by a rusty-brown colocasia plant. The life-sized metal installation is unmistakable amid walls displaying paintings in diverse styles, dimensions and media, the works of 40-odd students passing out of the College of Fine Arts curated under the rubric ‘Degree Show 2019’, which opened on Friday.

The ‘graduate exhibition’ puts on display in two galleries close to 500 individual works from the college’s three departments of Painting, Sculpture and Applied Arts. The sheer range of the works perhaps make categorisation of the works difficult, with old-school oil paintings and wood engravings vying for attention with more modern forms of visual arts such as “new media products” comprising posters, advertisements and even ad films shown using a projector.

“Some of the works show an academic influence while others express an artist’s own visual language. It’s also a display of practice as some of the works were done as part of the curriculum,” says Ratheesh Kumar KS whose five paintings – three of them portraits done with help of art models — are part of the exhibition.

Landscapes, still life, slices of life, abstracts, sketches, charcoal on paper, pastels and so on comprise the paintings. However, oils form the dominant medium, with a handful of water colour paintings too. Other styles on display include a set of semi-abstract works done using ‘image transfer’ technique.

Sculptures and installations include pieces of art in wood, terracotta busts and figurines, wood and terracotta crossover artworks, and an assortment of intricate pieces in ceramics, plaster of Paris and metal embossing. Applied artworks, both handwork and digital, display newspaper and magazine advertisements, branding pamphlets, logo designs, posters, hoarding templates and photographs.

What from a distance comes across as a mishmash of items interposed together proves to be a meticulously juxtaposed collage of innumerable photos, newspaper and magazine cuttings, pictorial designs and brochures, all in a single, large, colourful frame.

“Irrespective of the type, most of the works show a contemporary style, which is perhaps a blend of several schools of thought in art. Others are quite experimental,” says Adithyalakshmi K R, a final-year student of painting. The large collection bears ample testimony.

‘Degree Show 2019’ will be on till June 21 at the College of Fine Arts, Palayam. Timings: 10 am to 7 pm.

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