The country is reeling with the worst crises ever witnessed in our memory, due to the pandemic. In these trying times, it’s a call to humanity to rise above all and resurrect harmony that glimmers hope. While we are counting on blessings, art to our wonderment has come as succour to herald that ‘The World is One Family’. I am talking about India’s biggest ongoing art exhibition ‘Lokame Tharavadu’, organized by Kochi Biennale Foundation and curated by veteran artist Bose Krishnamachari with the help of Kerala’s state government.
Opened for over 70 days in the pandemic, the exhibition is taking place with adequate safety protocols. It is rooted in the vision of finding connectedness and belongingness to our surroundings with a special focus on home and what it means to us at a time when we are confined to four walls. This contemporary large scale exhibition is witnessing the participation of over 267 Malayali artists who have their origins and roots in God’s Own Country. The event is being held across five locations in Alappuzha which is famous for its splendid backwaters.
Opened for over 70 days in the pandemic, the exhibition is taking place with adequate safety protocols.
The thought behind the concept for the exhibition holds an affinity to the Sanskrit phrase Vasudeva Kutumkabam that sheds light on oneness and unity. While being on the same maxim, the idea is drawn from a Malayalam poem written by poet Vallathol Narayana Menon. It can be interpreted as a call to uplift the despondent human spirit through art in a global crisis like Covid-19 which is why Krishnamachari, thought to present it amid the doleful times to instil hope. “The exhibition is also conceptualised asking certain important questions about our ideas of home, surroundings and the world”, mentions Biennale Foundation on its Instagram. This eclectic theme of home and the world encompasses various sub-themes about how individuals locate themselves in the isolationist times of lockdown.
“The exhibition is also conceptualised asking certain important questions about our ideas of home, surroundings and the world”, mentions Biennale Foundation on its Instagram.
From artist Sameer Kulavoor creating a mural on the Alappuzha Beach with a message that ‘We are all in the same boat’ channelling a unifying spirit, Kavitha Balakrishnan’s work on how our Mother tongue gives us a sense of linguistic location to Devi Seetharam’s art series denoting dominance of males in public spaces in Kerala’s cultural milieu, the art conversed on the feeling of belongingness. It provided a sense of consolation. At the same time, the exhibition evoked contemplation about our most safe places that we call home, a place where we treasure the warmest memories that make us feel safe. The sense of finding respite in homes was seen explicitly in Lakshmi Madhavan’s work where she dives into nostalgia. The artist’s memories of her grandmother with whom she used to have lovable conversations became a template for her artistic evocations. Another work by artist Anpu Varkey done as a mural on a wall showing human strength and resilience in crises through rope pulling graffiti which is allegorical of present times where we are putting our best foot to combat a crisis.
However, pulling the exhibition in a pandemic with social distancing norms and limitations in place was hard but nothing could blur the fraternal vision of Bose.
With so many great artworks on walls, staircases and canvases, indeed, this was a much-awaited art extravaganza providing a silver lining in gloomy times. However, pulling the exhibition in a pandemic with social distancing norms and limitations in place was hard but nothing could blur the fraternal vision of Bose. He managed to gather support and funds for this massive show and also galvanize the best cohort of Malayali talents who aligned with his vision to combat the dreariness of the pandemic with paints and brushes. For this art event, adequate Covid-19 norms are in place for the visitors at all the five venues of the Alappuzha district where the exhibition is being held. From physical distancing, strict mask-wearing rules to sanitization protocols and restricting the number of visitors to only those who have negative RT-PCR reports, the exhibition is being governed by the Ministry Of Culture’s SOP for Covid-19 protocols issued by the Government of Kerala. It is opened to a certain age group by keeping the most vulnerable section out of the event for their safety. So if you too are engulfed with a sense of disarray, then Lokame Tharavadu is your lockdown escape taking place from April 18- June 30 across Alappuzha and Ernakulam.
For this art event, adequate Covid-19 norms are in place for the visitors at all the five venues of the Alappuzha district where the exhibition is being held.