Friday, August 12, 2011

Creating masterpieces with discarded stones

For most of us stones lying by the road side appears like an eyesore and an unwanted distraction, but for this 31-year-old artist it appears like resourceful objects for his artwork. Making use of these odd shaped stones lying by
the roadside, he creates wonderful pieces of art.

AR Manjunath is the artiste who creates sculptures out of stones collected from footpaths and road side curbs. He has created a unique collection of around 35 sculptures, all chiselled and carved and out of pieces of granite, discarded on the roadside. To give final touches for the hard stones, he has even buffed them.

Manjunath who has done MFA in Sculpture (2009) and BFA in Painting (2004), both from the Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts (CAVA) Mysore, has exhibited his artworks several times at Chitrakala Parishat, Bangalore, sculpture camp at Gatta Art Village, Raichur and also at National Sculpture camp 2010 held at Kannada University, Hampi.

He has bagged this year's Karnataka Shilpakala Academy State Award, which was presented to him on May 31 at Ravindra Kalakshetra. Hailing from Bilikere, Manjunath while commuting daily to Mysore for his studies began collecting various types of stones, especially granite stones that were chipped off while making stone slabs for construction works. Working on the collection, he began creating his artworks.

Speaking to Express, he said that ` I was then doing my BFA in Painting. One day on my way to college I noticed people working on bypass road near Belikere. Red coloured stones with splashes of white and black caught my attention. Till then I was working in the world of two dimensional paintings.
The thought of doing MFA in Sculpture occurred to me then when I started collecting these stones.

`Later I worked on three-dimensional artworks in sculpting and started creating object by shaping hard materials and forming visually interesting objects from stone,' says Manjunath.

`The stones available in plenty by the road side is very hard and takes long time to work on it. Finally to give smooth texture to these stones, I have done some machinery work on them,' he adds.

'As the stones available in the market are quite expensive, I never go in search of stone blocks for my artworks, instead, I make use of only those which are available in nature in plenty. I practiced carving stones lying by the
roadside or those left discarded in front of buildings under construction.'

`There are several stones of varying hues and shapes occurring naturally and I have made use of such multi-colour, especially two colour stones, for most of my artworks,' says Manjunath with proud.

While inviting more number of students to come forward and enroll for such sculpture courses, he adds, `Most youngsters of today don't like sculpting, because creating a single sculpture requires patience, hard work and lot of time.'

Sculptures is an important form of art and attract large number of public attention. One should have talent to give shape for discarded stones and use the two-colour stones properly while carving.

In future he plans to continue his sculpting and carving and eventually to open a full-fledged art studio to train artists in making sculptures. Presently he has set up a studio in Vijayanagar.

Manjunath who is equally good in creating paintings, conducts Art classes for children during summer vacation and teaches them about clay modeling, painting, sculpting and drawing.

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