Pics: Dayanand Kukkaje
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru
Mangaluru, Mar 16: For Shashi V Shetty, 66, the inauguration of Parampara – 2 the exhibition her Thanjore and Mysore paintings numbering more than 40 by her three grandchildren must be a moment of great pride and joy. For the grandchildren also who hold their grandma in high esteem as an artiste of great calibre, the very act of inaugurating the exhibition of her paintings must be an exciting idea. It could be another way of making the younger generation realise the value or importance of Tanjore paintings which are quite popular form of paintings from 16th century onwards. The exhibition is being held from March 15 to 17.
This is Shashi Shetty’s 2nd exhibition ever since she learnt Tanjore painting from her Guru Om Prakash of Chennai 15 years ago. Parampara – 1, the first exhibition was held in Prasad Art Gallery in 2002. 15 years is quite a long time to take a break but Shashi says she went about her work doing paintings whenever she could steal some time.
The three-day painting exhibition is being organised at her residence at “Vishal” next to Vishal Children’s Hospital, West Kodialguthu, Mangalore. It was decided to hold the exhibition here at my residence “mainly because it is not easy to move the glass framed works of art. As these paintings are intricate works of art created using precious and semi-precious stones and 24 carat gold foils they need to be handled with utmost care and caution.
As I keep marvelling the marvellous sketches of Radha, Krishna, Ganesha, Infant Jesus and Budha, embellished with bright hues laced with golden embroidery and precious stones at the exhibition, I just ask her what it takes to be an artiste of such intricate works of Tanjore paintings and the challenges an artiste in her had to face. “Patience”, she says with her characteristic smile further adding “these paintings tests your patience to the maximum. These paintings depend on the mood of the artiste and if there is some disturbance or urgent errand to attend then the artiste may not have the same mood to continue from where he has left. Lot of patience is required to finish what the artiste has begun. Learning this painting help us inculcate patience in us”.
Shashi says “Tanjore paintings has come a long way from their traditional and age-old sketches to move with the time by including a variety of designs such as that of Budha, Jesus, peacock, swan etc., to appeal to a wider section. According to Shashi a normal painting takes anything between 10 days to a month depending on the size of the painting. Though painting is more of a passion, Shashi also accepts orders from the connoisseurs of these paintings.
In these 15 years she has done over 300 Tanjore paintings out of which about 200 are sold and she has gifted about 60 paintings to her friends for various occasions. Shashi was always passionate about art and its various facets and she says she must have inherited some streak of the talent for art from her uncle who had had great fascination for art work.
Shashi is the best example to showcase that there is no age bar to learn and excel in any field. She was 50 when she took to Tanjore painting like a fish into the water. She recalls: “When Om Ganesh came to Mangalore in 2000 to teach Tanjore paintings, I joined the course by paying Rs. 5000/- which at that time we felt was a rather big amount. Since then I took this passion seriously and today I happy to say my guru Om Prakash has come from Chennai to see my exhibition. That is the best gift for a shishya”, she declared.
Having learnt this intricate art Shashi has gone a step ahead and trained about 95 interested women in Tanjore paintings. One of her students Urvashi Nayak went on to hold her own exhibition of Tanjore paintings a few years ago.
Apart from painting, Shashi had evinced considerable interest in gardening and cooking till a few years ago and had won the rolling trophy for having the best garden. She also used to hold cookery classes to interested women. But the Tanjore paintings became her passion she has been spending a considerable amount of time on her paintings. In addition to Tanjore paintings she also does pencil sketches, water colours, acrylic and oil paintings.
Shashi is grateful to her family including her husband Dr A V Shetty, daughter Lakshmi, son Dr Anil Shetty and her grand children for the support and pat on the back every time she came out with a gem of a painting. “A supporting family is always an asset for an artiste”, declares Shashi. For her painting is also a form of de-stressing and rejuvenating her spirits.