Media, messages, meaning—These artists show how storytelling is embedded in artwork
In this photo essay from Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, we showcase a diverse range of rural art works along with artist insights on creativity.
Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 725 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecom expo, millets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
Storytelling is an integral component of art, revealing the journey of artists through portfolios of work in different mediums. This week, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in Bengaluru hosted a diverse exhibition of artworks in bronze, wood and canvas, aptly titled Land of Stories.
The featured artists were Livingstan, Prabhu, Joyal Jabakumar, Harikrishna, and Mano. In this photo essay, we showcase some exhibition highlights along with artistic insights on creativity.
“I see art as a reflection of my life and my soul in it,” sculptor Harikrishna tells YourStory. Hailing from an artisan family, he pursued his passion for sculpture at the Kumbakonam College of Arts (KCA).
“I began observing the beauty of nature—the trees, hidden root systems, and the small but industrious ants living inside them,” he adds. His fascination for ants led them to be subjects of his numerous artworks.
“The uniqueness of my style comes from my habitat and my perspective. As I observed ants, I recognise the profound purpose in everything in nature,” Harikrishna affirms.
“Everything that meets my eye helps me express my thoughts through my work. Even an old termite-covered tree gives me many thoughts,” he jokes.
He was pleased that this message about simplicity and unity in life was appreciated by exhibition viewers of all ages, from children to adults. “Seeing the support and appreciation for my artistic journey gives me hope for my work ahead,” Harikrishan enthuses.
The featured artists also shared their views on success. “For me, success is having my artwork enjoyed by all citizens, and having my intuition appreciated,” explains KCA graduate Livingstan.
Rural life has been a strong influence in his life, being based in a Tanjavur village. “Everything here is so delicious and precious that it is better to stop and observe it,” he says.
He advises artists to take care of themselves so that they can truly express themselves in multiple ways. “A big encouragement for young artists like us also comes from the greetings and appreciation of visitors to our exhibitions,” he adds.
“This will be an inspiration for us. It also shows us a way for our next artistic journey,” Livingstan affirms.
Exposure to animal life shaped the works of Prabhu, a sculptor from a village near Madurai. “Bulls hold a special place in my life. I consider them to be a part of my family,” he explains.
Sculpting brings Prabhu deep satisfaction. “I see myself mirrored in these creations,” he says.
As trends in the Indian art scene, Prabhu points to the rise of sculpture as a practice. “Art is also being transformed with new means of production. It cannot be said to be right or wrong—it has evolved with the times,” he observes.
Prabhu is pleased with the feedback from their exhibition. “We were told by many that they had not seen such an art exhibition in the last six months,” he says proudly.
“We feel that the artistic journey we are on is going in the right direction. Our artworks are well received among children as well,” he adds.
Prabhu also offers tips for aspiring artists, particularly in dealing with failures and mistakes. “Failures are tools that shape us. If we don't get a thing right, we should not regret it. We should try more, or aim at something even bigger than that,” he says.
“Failure and overcoming setbacks are very necessary for the artist. Do not worry about it, and keep moving towards your goal. That passion and direction will guide you,” Prabhu signs off.
Now what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and showcase the breadth of your creative side?
(All photographs of cartoons were taken by Madanmohan Rao on location at the gallery.)
Edited by Kanishk Singh