‘Varayude Paramashivan (Lord Shiva of line drawing)’.
It was a becoming tribute from one stalwart to a different – from eminent Malayalam creator V.Okay.N. (Vadakke Koottala Narayanankutty Nair) to famous artist Namboothiri.
One of many legendary figures of line drawing, Karuvattu Mana Vasudevan Namboothiri, 97, handed away at 12.21am at this time, forsaking a wealthy legacy and his distinctive model. The eldest son of Parameshwaran Namboothiri and Sreedevi Antharjanam of Karuvattu Mana in Ponnani, Kerala, Namboothiri entered the world of artwork, impressed by the scriptures at a temple close to his home. He was fond of creating clay figures. After ending highschool, he labored as a priest at a temple in Thrissur for a while, throughout which he learnt Sanskrit and conventional medicinal practices. However, Namboothiri quickly realised his future lay elsewhere.
With monetary assist from Krishnan Namboodiri of Varikkasseri Mana, a famend aristocratic household in Malabar, Namboothiri received enrolled on the Madras College of Wonderful Arts (now, Authorities School of Wonderful Arts). It was there he met the 2 towering figures who would profoundly affect his artwork. The primary was Devi Prasad Roy Chowdhury, a pupil of Abanindranath Tagore and the founding principal of the establishment. Beneath Chowdhury’s steering, the faculty supplied complete coaching in high-quality arts, fostering an surroundings conducive to exploring indigenous artwork kinds. This publicity gave Namboothiri invaluable insights into depicting the human type and deepened his appreciation for creative expression rooted in Indian traditions.
The second influential determine was his trainer, Okay.C.S. Paniker. His inspiration and unwavering assist motivated Namboothiri and his friends to embark on a path of exploration, experimentation, and self-expression. Encouraging them to showcase their particular person skills and problem the bounds of creative conventions, Paniker instilled in them a way of curiosity and a quest to outline an Indian identification. After finishing diplomas in high-quality arts and utilized arts, Namboothiri lived on the Cholamandal Artists’ Village beneath Paniker’s steering.
In 1960, Namboothiri joined Mathrubhumi, a distinguished day by day in Kerala, and 4 years later, he grew to become a workers artist at Mathrubhumi Weekly. Throughout this era, Namboothiri gained fame due to his distinctive model of uncooked and irreverent drawings. His pocket cartoon sequence, Naniyammayum Lokavum, in Mathrubhumi, received widespread acclaim and have become a major milestone within the publication’s historical past.
Line drawing got here naturally to him, and his distinctive perspective on human anatomy breathed life into many literary characters, making them immortal. The interval from Seventies to Nineties is usually hailed as Namboothiri’s golden period, when he created a few of his most celebrated literary illustrations. One notable instance is the character of Bhima from M.T. Vasudevan Nair’s well-known novel Randamoozham (1984). Namboothiri skillfully portrayed Bhima with a strong physique and a comparatively smaller head, successfully capturing the intricate feelings of Nair’s Bhima.
Namboothiri’s creative prowess prolonged past Bhima, as he breathed visible type and form into quite a few characters in Malayalam literature. His illustrations graced the works of esteemed authors like Uroob, V.KN., S.Okay. Pottekkat, Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, and Madhavi Kutty (Kamala Surayya), amongst others. Every of those creative renderings showcased Namboothiri’s means to seize the essence of the characters and contribute to the wealthy tapestry of Malayalam literature.
His male characters possessed a sturdy and strong look, whereas his feminine characters had been depicted as stunning. It was Surayya’s father, V.M. Nair, who labored alongside Namboothiri at Mathrubhumi, who steered that the artist ought to envision all his characters as visually interesting, even when the writers had been exploring themes of agony, misery, or unhappiness. This method aimed to convey the inherent magnificence inside every character, no matter their circumstances.
Namboothiri possessed a exceptional means to translate the intricate realm of feelings skilled by a three-dimensional character into the confined area of his two-dimensional drawing sheets. His profound understanding of literature, Kathakali, and classical music performed a major position in shaping his creative imaginative and prescient. These various influences significantly enhanced his drawings. Moreover, Namboothiri regarded music as the head or the “greatest type” of artwork, contemplating it the one creative medium able to deeply touching and stirring the human coronary heart.
Within the Seventies, Namboothiri’s creative skills expanded into the realm of cinema. When G. Aravindan, who would later set up himself as one of many biggest filmmakers in Malayalam cinema, directed his debut movie Uttarayanam, Namboothiri served because the artwork director. In 1974, the movie garnered 5 state awards, together with the distinguished Finest Artwork Director award for Namboothiri. Subsequently, the artist collaborated with acclaimed filmmakers resembling Shaji N. Karun and Padmarajan, additional showcasing his versatility.
Namboothiri additionally ventured into different creative mediums, resembling oil on canvas and copper reduction works, to precise his artistry. He even embraced finger portray as a type of creative expression. His copper reduction works on the epics Mahabharat and Ramayan, in addition to his fibre-glass works on Kathakali, garnered worldwide recognition and acclaim.
Namboothiri’s autobiography, first serialised in Bhashaposhini, Malayala Manorama‘s literary journal, was subsequently revealed as a e book titled Rekhakal by Manorama Books. This publication supplied readers with insights into his life and journey, additional solidifying his distinguished place within the creative panorama.
Regardless of the quite a few honours Namboothiri acquired, together with the Raja Ravi Varma Award, one wonders if the nation actually recognised and honoured his distinctive contributions to the world of artwork and tradition. Surprisingly, he by no means received a Padma award, which many consider he actually deserved.