Friday, January 12, 2018

A post (Write up ) that appeared in relation to my show 'Where the green grass grows'. I had forgotten to save in the blog.

For all those who are aspiring to become a ‘somebody’, there cannot be a better real-life example than that of 65-year-old Usha Ramachandran. She is modern-day proof of the fact that one need not attend classes at fancy art schools or havemultiple degrees tucked under their belt in order to become a celebrated artist. Not only this, Usha also mirrors one of life’s strongest truths— it is never too late to be what you want to be. “I have not studied art specifically, other than what was taught at school level,” she says. “I did my higher secondary in various schools and finally graduated out of Avadi Airforce Central School.” Having majored in History, Ramachandran completed her MA in Social Work with a specialisation in Personnel Management from Madras School of Social work, and then got married before taking up a job. Since her husband belonged to the Indian Civil Services, Usha soon realised that she had to give her full attention to her family and children as he was always very busy. “I was always interested in art and used to paint at home in my spare time,” she says. “When my children were settled and husband had retired, I decided to go ahead and do what I have always desiredand give it my best shot.” Today, Ramachandran is not only one of the finest sculptors in our country, but her style too, is innovative and fresh. Her work is as varied as the rustic surroundings and life in Kerala, which is her inspiration. Her sculptures, primarily figurative, beckon the viewer to breathe life into the narratives evoked by them. She specialises in creating sculptures made out bronze, and is displaying her latest collection “Where the green grass grows” today onwards at the Zinc Art Gallery in Santacruz (W). Having started off with paintings, Usha held her first solo painting exhibition in her hometown of Trivandrum in 2009. Here, she met an art teacher frome Kendriya Vidyalaya, Mr. Satheesan, who agreed to teach her the basics of sculpture making. The following year, Ramachandran held her first exhibition of sculptures in Trivandrum, and was also awarded the Honourable Mention Award by the Kerala Lalithakala Akademi for one of her bronze sculptures. After that, there was no looking back. She has already showcased her work in Cochin, Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi and now for the first time in Mumbai. “I create sculptures mostly in bronze because I like to ' stretch ' my works,” says Ramachandran. “I love to balance the figures too and bronze as a medium, is best suitable for that. It lasts forever almost. Most of my works are in natural colour of the metal because in the South, people tend to prefer that however I do believe that painted metal at times can add more depth to the art work.” Doling out advice to young aspiring artists, she says it is important to be passionate about this profession and to be mentally prepared to slog. “The industry is very competitive and the galleries don’t always show the guts to tread on a different path than the others,” she said. “It was always the individual artists who broke the mould and they found it difficult to get acceptance from the opinion makers for a long time. Artists have to persevere courageously, since most galleries generally flow with stream.” Visit her exhibition titled 'Where the green grass grows' today onwards. When: October 2 to October 31 Where: Gallery Zinc, Level One Lido Cinema, Opp. SNDT University, Juhu Road, Santacruz West Friday, 02 October 2015 - 4:39pm IST | Gaurav Sarkar | Edited by: Anesha George

Monday, October 16, 2017

A writeup on Usha Ramachandran in The Hindu May 05,2017


At home on the rooftop

Sculptor Usha Ramachandran   | Photo Credit: S MAHINSHA

Artist and sculptor Usha Ramachandran says she draws inspiration from the world around her

“The entire house is my creative space,” says Usha Ramachandran with a smile as I meet the artist at her residence at IAS Colony on Kavalloor Lane, near Kanjirampara.
The house bears the stamp of its designer, master architect Laurie Baker. A wooden sculpture welcomes visitors to the living room while art works by Usha in bronze, wood and mixed media are aesthetically arranged on shelves, tables, and cupboards. Her paintings adorn the walls. “This house was not built with a separate workspace for me because I wasn’t an artist when he conceptualised this structure! We showed him the plot and went to Delhi and when we returned the house was ready. It has an open house plan and wasn’t meant to have any extension,” says Usha.
But when Usha was nearing 60, she opened a new chapter of her life. From being a self-taught painter, she found a passion in sculpture as well. Within a year she held her first exhibition of bronze sculptures.
Comfort zone
That meant she had to have a space to call her own at her house. A room was built for her on the first floor. Her white overall, which she wears while at work, is hung behind the door while a few of her recent bronze works —‘Siva’, ‘Ganesha’ and ‘Krishna’ are arranged on tables in the small but well-kept room. A soaring ballerina in bronze is mesmerising. A cot and a couple of tables here and there make the room quite cramped. Her paintings lent a splash of colour to the white walls.
“This is where I sit and contemplate. I get inspired by everything around me. I am always thinking about my sculptures and paintings. When I was young, I escaped from the world outside into the world of books. Now my escape zone is sculpture and painting. This is part of my life, it is like breathing. I think about my works when I sleep also!” she says.
The covered terrace became her workspace. The breeze, the greenery, the quietude and the wooden swing are inspiration enough for the artist. It is easy to to ignore the clutter in the midst of so much greenery. Lying on the table is the bronze sculpture of a tree that can be divided into different pieces. “I have already made a bronze figure of a girl reading a book and that will be placed under this tree. It will be attached to this piece of wood with a screw. The sculptures are usually attached to a granite stone or wooden piece. In fact when I go out, you can find me looking around for stones or pieces of wood!” she smiles.
Also on the table is a polished piece of teak that looks more like a rock from a distance. Her plan is to depict a rock-climbing scene, with the climbers cast in bronze.
Artist at work
A locked cupboard stores her work tools — grinding and drilling machine, chisels, hammers, players, screwdrivers, sandpaper, screws and nails, brushes, glue, a pair of gloves, face guard... While she makes the moulds in wax, the casting is done at a shop in Chala. Usha handles rest of the processes herself. She proudly tells us that she learnt the process of giving the patina to her works on her own, by referring books and surfing the Internet.
She finds time to work everyday and prefers to work mostly at night. “I don’t set a time frame to finish an art work unless there is an exhibition coming up. Actually it is good if I have a deadline because that motivates me,” she adds.
It is a laborious process, but she enjoys every bit of it. It involves physical labour and one has to deal with a lot of dirt and dust. “You have to handle different kinds of acids and chemicals as well. May be that’s why there aren’t many artists who opt for this and women sculptors are very few in number,” says Usha.
But that hasn’t dissuaded her at all. In fact, she is planning to learn ceramic art as well.

Group Exhibition Relentless Creations at Alliance Francaise Trivandrum .August 2017


Invitation of the Group Exhibition 'Parallel Perception' at Russian Cultural Centre. Aug14th,2016


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Group Exhibition "Perceptions" at Suryakanti Gallery,Sasthamangalam

'Perceptions' an exhibition of sculptures by 4 artists-

Inaugerated by Jiji Thomson IAS,Scief secretary ,Kerala. on 16th July.

A Guruprasad,
Ramdas Tolil
V Satheesan
Usha Ramachandran @ Suryakanthi. from 16th to 25th July 2015.

A post (Write up ) that appeared in relation to my show 'Where the green grass grows'. I had forgotten to save in the blog.

For all those who are aspiring to become a ‘somebody’, there cannot be a better real-life example than that of 65-year-old Usha Ramachandr...