September 28, 2016

Inspiration for the day

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Shiju, Pothencode, Thiruvananthapuram

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The utilitarian transformation of coconut sticks to brooms is well known.  But when artist Shiju from Pothencode, Thiruvananthapuram sets his eyes on coconut sticks, the lowly material for broom gets metamorphosed into lovely pieces of art.

Shiju has patiently and painstakingly created many coconut stick sculptures like the model of Napier Museum, Thiruvananthapuram, traditional Kerala house (nalukettu), house boat, bullock cart etc.  In the case of Napier Museum, he had to make use of about 75000 sticks and 1 year of artistic penance to finish the task.

Once the coconut sticks are available, he can mould it into shapes.  But getting sticks of right quality and quantity is not easy as the artist testifies.  He has to obtain permission from households, cut the coconut leaves, separate the sticks, dry them in the sun, select the suitable ones for the work and them mould them using fevicol.

However, no doubt need be raised on the longevity of the sculptures he has produced.  According to Shiju, if polish is applied to the coconut sticks, then they can last like wood.

Though many are the figures he has created, the life-size Rudra Veena would surely be one of the most attractive.  The whole sculpture - including the strings - is made exclusively of coconut sticks.

Shiju inherited the artistic temperament from his grandfather who used to carve figures on wood.

His next challenge is to create human figures and nature using coconut sticks.

Shiju is a scenic artist at Doordarshan Kendra, Thiruvananthapuram.  His wife Reema is employed in Technopark, Thiruvananthapuram.  Janvi is their daughter.


Courtesy:  Madhu Thripperumthura (text), Mathrubhumi, July 24, 2016

"New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings."