Journeying in the exotic company of colours

Swathes of verdant lands, marshes with hints of lost worlds, mountains with secrets in their caves, may all be a traveller’s delight but for an artist these are heady designs reflecting the essence of life.

Sriraj Thanyam’s travels are to seek such designs or to understand that the world he traverses is an alluring part of a mesmerising whole. The seeking helps him merge science, philosophy and art effortlessly, recreating lively shades that tell vivid stories.

Twenty-seven of such works are being exhibited at the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club on March 22 and 23. Artist Kanayi Kunhiraman will inaugurate the exhibition.

“I celebrate colours in my paintings. Even in the deepest agony, there are hues of joy,” he said, explaining the work on Ammayambalam pacha where summer uniquely blends aridity and forest cover. Revealing this trait further is the series on COVID-19 lockdown. “The colours of being free with one’s inner self fills these paintings,” Sriraj says. This series was mostly done during his retirement phase, after having served The Hindu as a Deputy Editor.

A grove with reptiles

In another, he uses wavy shades to replicate the memories of his native village. “I lived in a place where there was a thick grove infested with reptiles. It was a life in harmony with the ecosystem,” he says.

Not just the natural frames of his travels, each of his life experiences is also a mix of colours. The work of Christ holding a child is an example.

“I drew this when I became a grandfather. Subdued colours with bright ones shows how much I enjoyed the phase,” he says.

Colours dominate his art work in its technique too.

“It is my journey so far, which I plan to undertake as far as I can,” says Sriraj, who would also be exhibiting his works in Thrissur from March 28 to 31 and in Kozhikode from April 10 to 13 at the respective Kerala Lalithakala Akademi centres.

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