These paintings were done during the many temple festivals that happen in January and February. staying in Kovalam, Kerala and Mitraniketan School (where I do voluntary work with deprived children making art and having great fun.)
The hot steamy air in the jungle is filled with the sound of women chanting (seems hopelessly out of tune to our ears, and excessively wingeing ) drumming and horn blowing. The noise can go on till 3 or 4 am and then start again at 5.30am. nobody gets much sleep during this time. Then there are the fireworks and processions where all the men are dressed up in various traditional costumes. Offerings are made to the gods – bananas, sweets, flowers and the men wear garlands. There are small temples dotted all over the place and they vie with each other as to who can make the loudest noise with the biggest loudspeakers. It can be almost unbearable but it is so exotic and colourful and such an important social occasion. Cooks move in placing huge stainless pans over open fires to cook curries for hundreds – the hospitality is amazing. Food is served on the traditional disposable plate – banana leaves. The drinks are very sweet squash in small paper cups not quenching thirst at all.
The paintings were made using acrylics and traditional Indian hand made paper so they have a lovely textural quality – the paper coming from the trees of the jungle – giiving the images a connection to their source of material.
These paintings will be on show at Devon Open Studios – 11th – 26th September 2021 at The White Room Creative Space, Commonmarsh Lane, Crediton, EX17 1DN
jungle at nedumangad
The flute player – Krishna
Crows at Mitraniketan
Nedumangad in the banana plantation
Festival time Nedumangad
chanting, drumming, fireworks
Garden at Nedumangad
Ganesh in the jungle