People K. Muralidhar excels in art that is eco-friendly
In a small unassuming place on Picket Road, Secunderabad, K. Muralidhar is immersed in moulding a clay Ganesha. A bunch of women and children file around him and look on with awe. In his small gallery-studio, you can stand testimony to K. Muralidhar’s creative genius as he works on sculptures based on the Warli and Chattisgarh tribes.
Ahead of the Vinayaka Chaturthi, Muralidhar is conducting a free-workshop teaching how to make a Ganesha out of eco-friendly clay. He has encompassed all areas of oil painting, glass and fabric painting, murals, sculptures, pottery, clay paintings and other decorative items.
One can see that he has a penchant for making art out of everyday ‘waste’. He believes that art is a constant cycle of learning and adapting, and hence in his journey to learn more he has mixed, matched and experimented a lot. Muralidhar has invented a special type of clay.
He calls it the eco-friendly clay which is a mixture of recycled material like — Multani mitti, cotton and wood powder. “Natural and herbal ingredients make it soft, lightweight and unbreakable,” he says. He pauses and tends to the Ganesha he is moulding. He picks a stone and gets on his craft. He peers in and rubs his palms to soften the dough. In a matter of minutes, the Ganesha’s head, torso, feet and the mouse are ready.
He then takes a pen’s refill and dots eyes and with a blunt knife scrapes out ears and makes the creases in his dhoti. Soft detailing, works wonders, he says. “ It’s all about the clay,” says Muralidhar.
He says that it can give art a 3D effect and can be used on any surface — canvas, bottles, pvc pipes, thermocol and cardboard. The clay he says takes about two hours to dry, upon which you can use vegetable and food dyes.
Having dabbled in all kinds of art — oil, sculptures, murals, glass painting, fabric art and watercolours, K. Muralidhar likes best to go back to clay painting and hopes to create art out of ‘waste’.
Mould the clay
Want to try this art for yourself? You can get in touch with artist K. Muralidhar on 9866572242 or at his studio in Picket, Secunderabad. E-mail him firstname.lastname@example.org. The workshop is free, but to take the materials home, the price is Rs. 100
By: Shrikant Khupekar, Mumbai
Mumbai: In the run up to Ganesh Chaturthi on September 1 this year, Vakratunda Mitra Mandal at Sangita wadi in Dombivli East approached sculptor Gunesh Gajanan Adval, and they had a unique request. To commemorate their 21st year in existence, the Sarvajanik Ganeshoustav Mandal wanted 21 idols made.
In just as unique fashion, Adval and his sister Shubhangi Ullengal have decided to make 21 idols that are unique and different from each other, as well as exclusive to their business. This, after the siblings along with Adval’s wife Bhargavi, mould and cast sculptures not with the help of pictures, but with their imagination.
Ullengal recalls, “When we were kids, our father, a sculptor, would tell us stories of the different forms of Ganpati. So, we have decided to make this our theme and create 21 idols based on those stories.”
Adval has already completed four of the 21 idols. What’s planned for the rest includes, Ganpati resting on a flower, sitting beside a mouse, sitting on the moon, dancing, writing the Mahabharata, battling demons with a mace, fighting with demons with a trishul, seated in a pious position, doing yoga, seated on a swing, riding a mouse, and with a lion, among others. Adval said, “Ten idols will depict Ganesha in his childhood, while another 11 will show him as an adult.”
Thirty five year-old Adval, who moved to Mumbai from Kohlapur in 2008, is environment conscious too. “I make idols only out of mud. Plaster of Paris does not dissolve in water, and is a problem, so I avoid it.”
He is the designer of a statue of Mother India that stands at the entrance of Vidya Niketan School in Dombivli, and plans to work on sculptures that depict social issues like public cleanliness, literacy and education.
The Orissa Puja committee has hit upon a novel idea of celebrating Ganesha Chaturthi this year, by invoking Anna Hazare and his fight for the Jan Lokpal bill.
The text, “Pray with Anna for Lokpal bill,” is also carved next to the two figures.
Pattnaik said he wanted to celebrate the success of the Lokpal protest led by Anna Hazare.
“Anna Hazare has done a great job to make this land free of corruption. I believe that divine forces have a major role in initiating such a movement,” he said.
Pattnaik has participated in more than 45 sand sculptor championships at the international level, and was the first Indian to bag the world championship title in 2008 in Berlin.
Recently, he also won the gold medal at the third Moscow world sand sculpture championship 2011. This is not the first Anna-inspired carving by Pattnaik. “I have already done three other sculptures for Anna Hazare,” he says.
“The whole world is looking to us after the protest,” he adds. The sculpture is five feet in height, and the work took up nearly 30 tonnes of sand, he says.
Pattnaik was assisted by his students from the Sand Art Institute, Orissa, and have been on work since Monday to build the sculpture.
Nihar Ranhan Samantara, founder member of the Puja committee, says “Corruption is eating into our system. Though Anna Hazare is steering the movement in his own way, we thought of doing something different to add to the social cause. That is why we invited Pattnaik, who is also an Oriya, to this function.”
The committee wants to create awareness about the movement against corruption, he added. The exhibition will remain open for public viewing till Ganesha puja on Thursday. Details can be had at http://www.orissapujacommittee.com
- Ganesh Pandals 2011 – Popular Ganapati Pandals 2011 in Mumbai during Ganesh Chaturthi (mylordganesha.wordpress.com)
The sight of Bal Ganesh standing on an elephant’s trunk on three toes may be a treat for the worshipper’s eyes but it’s a difficult idol for a sculptor to make. However, 32 year-old Lalbaug sculptor Rajesh Shinde has pulled off this 28 foot tall work of art with ease.
The 48 year old Khetwadi 8th Lane Sarvajanik Ganehotsav Mandal came up with the idea of the unique idol and approached Shinde to execute it. The 28 foot idol is the tallest in the Khetwadi mandal’s history and in sculptor’s 12 year-old career.
The Bal Ganesh idol, which stands on three toes, weighs about two tonne and was sculpted and painted to perfection in just three days. “I got the order (from Khetwadi mandal) a month ago and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to deliver in just five days. I still took it up as a challenge and by God’s grace I managed pretty well,” Shinde said.
“I started working on the idol on August 25 and I am almost done with it. I just need to finish painting the idol and I intend to do that by Sunday,” he added.
The Vice-Secretary of the Khetwadi 8th Lane mandal, Nilesh Shirdhankar, said, “The sculptor has made the idol in just three days and he has promised to give it the final touches by Sunday. The making of the idol had to be delayed because it had to be made in the pandal that was built only 10 days ago.”
Another mandal member, Abhay Parkar, said, “This is not the first time he made an idol at such short notice. He has been doing this for eight years now. Since our lane is very narrow, we get permission to set up the pandal only 10 days before Ganeshotsav. Of the 10 days, two days go in setting up the pandal, about four to five days go in making the idol and the remaining days we use to decorate it.”