All of 13 years, Anujaat Sindhu Vinaylal inspired fellow children to look at the beauty of one’s surroundings and capture certain interesting elements on the canvas. The class-8 student from Thrissur enriched the aesthetics of trainees at a weekend workshop organised on the sidelines of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale.
“Since we live in Kerala, I believe we are much closer to the beauty of nature…not some metro city,” said the early teenager, addressing the inaugural session of the day-long engagement titled ‘Drawings from Surroundings’ at the art room in the Cabral Yard venue of the 108-day festival. “We must ensure that we do our best to conserve it.”
A winner of Rashtrapati Puraskar 2015 and India Africa Forum Summit 2015 National Award, Anujaat’s works celebrate the charms of idyllic worlds. Flora and fauna, including human beings, share deep connections and understanding in his art that looks at pollution-free nature from the eyes of kids, brimming their innocent impressions.
“Art is a powerful communicator in that it can both express a point of view and invoke feelings,” added the shy student from Devamatha CMI Public School, Thrissur. “Because I am a visual artist, looking at and being in nature is my way of navigating life.”
What is striking about Anujaat’s art practice is that his subjects are so well connected to his surroundings. “I am working on a series called ‘Goats and Their Life’ since 2014. There, I am drawing goats in various natural habitats,” revealed the painter who has won several national and international awards. “Recently, I completed compositions featuring a goat near touch-me-not plants.”
Anujaat’s select works from the goat series feature the 2019 calendar for a financial institution: Peringandur Service Co-operative Bank.
The artist says he is inspired by his father who is a graphic designer. “My father and brother are my biggest inspiration. They introduced me to the world of art and were the first to teach me various techniques,” said the winner of the first Clint Memorial International Award 2014 (after Kerala prodigy Edmund Clint who did 25,000 drawings and paintings before his dead a month short of turning seven in 1983).
Anujaat started painting at the age of five and has been able to capture the beauty through leaves, buds, flowers, goats, unnoticed plants in his courtyard, and so on. “My intention is to have a visual conversation about the beauty and energy of the natural world through art so that we can remember that we are deeply connected to nature and each other,” notes Anujaat, who wants to become a full-time artist once he grows up.
Quiz him about the art college he wants to study in and quick comes the reply, “My father has few suggestions but I want to keep my options open.”
At the biennale art room, together with the participants, Anujaat sought to capture certain beautiful elements of God’s Own Country. In the forenoon, each participant created a painting based on their own observation of the surrounding. In the second, they together made the painting of a big jackfruit. “I chose jackfruit because it is very commonly found in our state,” he added.