Here is a septuagenarian lady who creates wonders out of sea shells and conches. 74-year-old Y Jayamma is the artist, who breathes life into the shells and has created about 68 creations using different kinds of sea shells and conches of various sizes and hues.
Just a week ago she completed creating God Narasimha which is 39 inch tall and will be formally inaugurated next month. Presently she is working on creating a replica of famous singer Yesudas for which she wants to invite him to Mysore and donate him a replica of Goddess Kollur Mookambika which he worships. The replica is ready. Apart from this she is working on Lord Ranganath Swamy of Srirangapatna and Goddess Kalikadevi of Sirsangi Kalika temple near Hubli.
She has already completed creating images of former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam with a missile and national emblem in the background, images of Chamundeshwari, Hanumantha, Lakshmi, Mookambika, episodes from epics of Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavatha, demons and several others. She has created buttons, teeth, tongue, all out of shells and has pasted it using adhesives like M Seal and Quick Fix.
Having worked as a teacher, after her retirement she has invested lakhs of rupees of her pension amount for this creations. She has used various colour shells appropriately for creating colour combinations. Curiously, till date she has never counted the number of shells she has used in her artworks.
She purchase shells from Rameshwar, Kanyakumari, Mangalore by visiting the places personally. From past few year she is ailing from ailments and is taking help of her relatives and friends. Residing on Irwin Road she has named her house Jaya Sea Shell Art Centre and museum.
Without being coached under any teacher she learnt this art on her own and today she creates works with heights ranging from 1 feet to 70 feet. Hailing from an artist's family, she is the grand-daughter of noted sculptors late T Yalakkachar and uncle Padmashri SN Swamy.
Speaking to Express, she said, 'When I visited one of my relatives house in my childhood, they had kept on display miniature artifacts made out of shells. This inspired me to learn this art. As I couldn't find any of teacher who taught this art, I learnt it by myself. It's a very difficult art and needs lot of creative work and patience.
She has planned to donate all her art works to Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari Dr Veerendra Heggade, as there is not a single art gallery in the city to take care of any artists exquisite works. She says, 'There is a need of Art Gallery in city.'
Unfortunately, she has not received any awards from Government recognizing her unique talent. She says the admiration and appreciation inspiration from the people itself award for her.
Senior Artist L Shivalingappa said that 'as government has not taken any initiative to built a art gallery and preserve the rare things, its good if Jayamma donates her creative works and safeguard it, apart from spoiling. Its need of the hour government should wake up and take appropriate measures to conserve the rare works of about thirty artists in city,' he adds.