To Appa, With Love

A new festival honours the life and work of the late artist KN Ramachandran.

Written by Radhika Singh | Published: April 27, 2016 12:20 am
 graphic designer, K N Ramachandran, artist ramachandran, appa art festival, art festival, indian express talk The 60-foot Appa hoarding.

Even though there was an age difference of 40 years between them, KN Ramachandran and his son, Karthik, would often collaborate on their art. But because Karthik worked as a graphic designer and Ramachandran favoured more traditional, realistic scenes, the end product would always be unusual. Karthik’s favourite is a painting of a woman dressed in traditional garb, with Transformer-inspired cyborgs holding guns in the background. It will be displayed at an art festival in Kamshet, organised by Mumbai-based Karthik in honour of his father, who passed away in September last year.

“It was this piece that inspired the idea of a place for artists to come together and get exposed to different skills,” says Karthik. “But my father died soon after. I wanted to carry on with his idea, so I set up the Appa Art Fest”. The five-day festival, which begins today, will display sketches and paintings by the late artist from the ’40s through to the ’60s, which detail scenes from everyday life. Also present will be a giant hoarding — 60-foot installation of Ramachandran — done by everal artists as a tribute to his early days as a billboard painter.

Participants at the festival include graphic designers, sculptors, street artists, light and sound designers, and experts in robotics. There will also be musicians at the fest, but they won’t really be playing music, says the 39-year-old. “They will be creating ambient sounds, such as birds chirping, that won’t distract the artists, but will help them focus better. It will not make the body bounce, but I hope it will make our brains bounce,” he says.

Various workshops, including one on Instagramming and another on pottery, will be open to the public. The KN Ramachandran Memorial Trust will be presenting a cash award to watercolour and oil artist Vasudeo Kamath.

The Appa Art Festival is opposite Golden Glades, Kamshet

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