23 September 2017

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Sujith: The 'Bamboo' Master

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Sujith, M.P, of Kalpetta in Wayanad district, is a slim, young and totally unassuming person, with well springs of creativity bubbling deep inside him. He is an exponent of a nearly dying art form, the  mural painting.

Sujith explained in his soft spoken tones as to how he was initiated into the world of art and mural paintings by Mr. Azhikode, who had visited Wayanad way back in the year 2004 and organised a mural painting workshop. He, along with twenty others, joined this workshop. He did not restrict himself to just mural paintings but decided to venture into mural art on bamboo. He co-coordinated with Uravu bamboo craft centre and went on to paint a lot of mural paintings on bamboo.

After one and a half years of coordinating with Uravu, this bamboo craft centre closed down. But not to be discouraged, Sujith struck out alone. He created beautiful mural paintings in bamboo, mud, wood, pots, terra cotta urns, on pen holders, paper weights, and on mud tiles too.  His paintings on terra cotta tiles were a great hit. He ventured into making mirrors, traditionally called as “valkannadi”: made mirror frames, photo frames, pendant/chain sets, each of these etched with his mural art to make them unique.

Three years later, Sujith opened his “Bhavm Mural Arts’, his own mural art centre in Kalpetta. His creativity knows no boundaries and he went on to experiment on walls, canvas, and on all things that had utilitarian value. He was invited to host exhibitions at Bangalore, and the response to his craft was tremendous. He rightfully went on to capture media attention on all fronts.
 
Sujith thus embarked on conducting classes and workshops in mural art at Bangalore. He is a much sought after mural artist both in India and abroad. His better half, Surya, too is very much into mural paintings and its promotion.” Mural art is done with acrylic colours on all mediums. For wall paintings, I use both natural and acrylic paints’- explains Sujith.Wayanad being a tourist centre too, Sujith’s Bhavm Mural Art attracts a lot of clients who truly appreciate his creativity.

“It takes three weeks to get bamboo processed. I have to wait for the new moon days. During these days, the sugar content in bamboo would be relatively low. It is difficult to procure “aanamula” too, a type of bamboo which is best suited for mural paintings. Usually, the bamboo pieces are of twelve inch height and six inches wide. They have to be white washed and prepared eighteen times to create a suitable texture. Hence, the preparatory time by itself extends to three- to four days. Then again, a span of four days minimum is required to complete the painting on it, after which it is well polished and used as a wall hanging’- smiles Sujith.

The bamboo mural art painting and artifacts are priced from a minimum of Rs 450 to 2000.  Sujith starts work each day by nine thirty in the mornings and continues till five in the evening. Sujith had initially procured a loan of one lakh from the Co-operative bank to set up Bhavm Mural Arts. He is assisted by ten people well trained in the craft. And the Kerala Khadi Grants Commission extends all support to this creative entrepreneur.

 

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