Friday 13 April 2012

Profile - Alone and on the move - Padma Jayaraj

It was a hot summer day in Palghat, Kerala. Heat waves radiated from the Western Ghats. But secure in a glade, forgetful of the world around, a bunch of sculptors were immersed in their work. Eight sculptors, cutting across India were contributing their work to the first Sculpture Park in the country. The lone woman among them was overseeing a crane putting her art work in proper position on the ground. A granite pillar with carvings on 4 sides reminds you of a pillar in an ancient temple in south India

If Anila Jacob is occupied, Mr. Jacob is ready to entertain. He pulls out testimonials, photographs of her works, brochures. He talks about the years past that brought her fame and recognition.  He recalls how KCS Panikar, the Principal of the College of Art, Madras, interviewed him prior to marriage making him promise that Anila would continue her artistic career. And he has kept the promise.

Anila was a born into a family that loved art, in Kottayam, Kerala. Her grandfather had artistic inclinations. That the family had sent her to learn art in those days speaks of how she was released from hold. And she was the first woman to win many awards in a male dominant field. Inspired by gifted women students who made their marks later in the art scene, Anila remained under the spell of her guide, and guardian, KCS. The stamp of the school ‘is still visible in the work of this sculptor who is part of Cholamandal.’

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