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When bricks, tents turned canvas

When bricks, tents turned canvas

Kochi: Italian Francesco Clemente is often described as a nomadic artist and this is why he has chosen a tent as a canvas and painted it with powerful imagery drawn from his tour across the world, including India. In contrast, Unnikrishnan C. has portrayed his two-month journey in Kochi on bricks where he has mixed myths and poignant portraits of daily life.

These two artists at the ongoing Kochi-Muziris Biennale stand out for the choice of canvas - bricks and tents. This is why their works narrate a tale of their travels and are very personal and interesting.

Clemente was born in Italy but now lives and works in Rome, New York and Chennai. His nomadic lifestyle has had major contribution in his works that have a spiritual connect and representation of a body and mind.

"Everybody's journey in the world is misplaced or people in the world would like to be misplaced," 62-year-old Clemente told IANS.

"So it is important to imagine safe places in reality and that comes with understanding and respecting your body," he added.

And this spiritual connect is reflected through his pictures where he has used human body as a metaphor to evoke felling of oneness.

On a different note, 21-year-old Unnikrishnan is the youngest artist in the biennale where around 94 artists from 30 countries are participating, with at least 100 projects scattered around at eight locations in Kochi.

At the CSI Banglow, Unnikrishnan has raised a brick wall that depicts his two-month old observation in Kochi, as he had come to Kochi from his own town Pezhumpara in Kerala, and created this artwork to go with the theme "Whorled Explorations" of the 108-day-long festival.

From day-to-day sightings, mundane lifestyle and careful observations, he has painted girls in burqa, fish, chillies and lemon (used for wading off evil), masks, fishing nets, among several things that one gets to see in daily life.

"I call it my brick wall diary," Unnikrishnan told IANS.

"I have tried to showcase everyday life, many myths and traditional things this place has through these images," he added.

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