Talent or genius sprouted out inside a feminine physique is a mere waste not only to herself but to the whole race. This is a time honored custom, despite geographical, cultural or racial disparities. If she has to abrogate this system, she will have to cross the cinders of inevitabilities. If she is succeeded, we call her versatile, bold, unique or what not? That is what Lata devi is about.
Latadevi is a known personality in the art scenario of Kerala. A Trichur based Fine Arts Graduate; Latadevi has been in the world of colors for the last 25 years. It is not as simple as that for one to remain steadfast in the same field in this era of appearances and unhealthy competitions. But she reinvented herself in her realm, by promoting Fine Arts to a popular art form, radiating its shades along the coastal barriers of understanding and realization. She tackles this juncture, by providing intense training in drawing, painting and its various other forms such as oil painting, acrylic painting mural painting and like, to a lot, from various zones of life. Her students range from 4 years to 80 years!
As a Guru
India’s unique tradition calls a real teacher a Guru, with whom his students are indebted their whole life. Now we have a lot of teachers, who inform us, teach us and enrich us. But Latadevi’s students prefer to call her Guru, as she does not simply teaches but enlightens her students with the wisdom and delight of art, she scored innately. That is why, her student, an 8 year old one is able to assimilate naturally, two objects of the same wavelength, if given, with his novice collections of landscapes. That is why she could make the lives of D
oni.S.Mani, a deaf and dump boy, and Neha, a little angel came to this world for a short period of 10 years, blessed and gratified, by conducting an exhibition of their paintings for the public to adore and appreciate.
Latha devi can be better called as a Fine Arts teacher otherwise, when a segment deserted and left unnoticed, in school staff rooms, as drawing teachers. She enjoys this title in the highly praised campus of Bhavans Vidya Mandir, Trichur. If you ask any of her students or colleagues about their Lata Teacher, with a wide smile they will say ‘ Wah! She’s great!’
When asked about her teaching style, she told in her usual subtle tone: “whoever comes to me to learn drawing, I won’t say ‘no’. But from the first stroke he makes I get a vision of his going. According to that particular way I try to lead him. I never compel my students to follow me but I give them a chance to imagine and work accordingly. I never give homework but I pursue them to observe.”
In fact, she peeps into the dark caverns of her student’s mind with her search light of genius to touch the ability hidden. With ample encouragement and technical aid, she extends her hands to them to a level where she stands.
Apart from a teacher, she has proved herself an inevitable presence in the Fine Arts zones in the length and breadth of the nation. She is the first person in Kerala to conduct a group online painting exhibition, which has imparted a national recognition to her identity. Through the website ‘people.com’, she could showcase the talents of her female students ranging from 5 years to 80 years. She has conducted a number of solo exhibitions of her works at Kerala Lalithakala Academy, to her credit. Also she has participated in the nationally and internationally enthralled exhibitions in various parts of India. In 2002, she was honored with the Best
Art Promoter Award by www.orgpeople.com. She has attended various National Artist camps of the Lalithkala Academy. She has been selected for the exhibitions conducted by the Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy for 3 consecutive years, recently.
Now she is engaged in the picturisation of the contradictory notions of growing indoor plants and bonsai trees. This is for the coming Solo exhibition to be conducted at Trivandrum in November 2010.
Though she handles almost every nuance work in the Fine Arts zones, she is excelled in oil and acrylic painting in canvas. Most of her pictures are emphasizing on solid themes, certain strokes tell us the amazing possibilities of the brush and paint. Her works based on themes ranges from nostalgia to human intimacy.
“An artist must be attuned to society. So I cannot simply rule out what all things are happening around me”. She says. Thus emerged the acrylic works on “Muthanga” and “Marad” Incidents. (Both these are the names of places in Kerala, where communal and political riots made the arena miserable for a long time, and its aftermaths are still in the air). As a warrior retorts with his sword, she expressed her pangs through her strokes. These works brought her laurels from various zones of the country.
The works on the negative and fierce impacts of abortions, child hood reflections, illuminations etc are some of the applauded works of Lathadevi. When every one is behind ‘yoga’ to get some positive energy in the midst of the tiresome works and hues, she was on the way of bringing it into canvas as a series of 6 images. You will astonish to say it as simply superb. She remembers one Mr.Vinod’s comment on this series as “padiyarum kadannavidechellumbo l’( a hymn indicates one encounters with God after climbing 6 steps in the hazardous life).
Her portrayal of ‘Dasamatrukakal’( depicting 10 mothers of various classics), reflects the motherhood innate in the Nature and in the artist. Her series of paintings ‘srushty’, ‘sthithi’ and ‘samharam’ (creation, preservation and destruction) imply the very identity of the second sex synchronized with its partner, portrayed in an abstract style, proclaiming the very existence of Nature.
More over, we can see an enthusiastic debutante with a quest for updating in the field, while we go through these works. Unlike the coeval artists of the time, she never sticks to the strait-laced contemporary methods, but tries to revive it with up-to-date renovations.
A medley of colors
Like most of her paintings, her life itself is a medley of colors. As she is very keen to assimilate the colors and not as simply add-ons, she dabbles along multiple roles of an artist, a home maker, a teacher, a wife, a mother
and so on. If you ask her how she could manage this array, she will reply with a smile. “My nights are very short, but they are vibrant”.