The last time I visited Venki’s (He is Venkataraman Kamath but known to everyone as Venki Palimar) terracotta workshop was twenty years ago. When he had just started out and I was in college. He was a friend’s cousin and I was very interested in art. I remember when we got down from the bus, he was waiting for us and took us home through what seemed a jungle at that time. But now, it’s all changed. With broad roads and areas marked, finding the gallery in Palimar was easy peasy (That’s my daughter’s slang for you!). His mother’s got great memory. She remembered me from back then (I am sure I have changed quite a bit from then!!) and insisted I have lunch with them. So it was more like catching up with all that happened in the last twenty years with terracotta artist Venki Palimar.
Buddhists Monks in terracotta by Venki Palimar.They inspire peace and contentment.
No man is an island and all our struggles are witnessed. When Venki realized that his calling was in moulding clay and terracotta, Venki pursued it with great passion. Mr. Balram Bhat, a well wisher, helped him expand his vision. He helped him get more exposure through books, exhibitions attended by him and any terracotta work that he came across, he shared with Venki. It was this selfless interest on Mr. Balram Bhat’s part that helped him improve on his vision and imagination, shaping him into the Terracotta artist Venki Palimar. In his spare time, he would go along with an artist friend for rock climbing, a rock by the name of Nimmipade near Adve. His own struggle to master the art, achieve in life and his experience while climbing the rock has inspired him to do a series on rock climbing. Though he shares this with me, he says he prefers the viewer to have his own interpretation.
When I ask him about inspiration, he says that he finds it everywhere. In the people around him, their expressions and the different reactions that people have. When he says that he sees everything around him from the perspective of capturing it in terracotta, I can quite understand. Nowadays anything that I see, I feel “Yes! This is something I can write about”. Life has become so much more interesting this way.
Rural life appeals to him the greatest, and he has portrayed it in the farmers, school children and the local culture, be it Bhootaradhane, the lambanis or the masks. Not to forget his roots, “After all this is what I grew up with”, says Terracotta artist Venki Palimar.
Sadhus in terracotta by Venki Palimar at Chitralaya Art Gallery
I now have an invite to attend his next workshop. So off I go again. Coming anyone?
Lots of Twinkles to all of you. Have a happy week.
PS- You can contact the artist for orders at Venki Palimar – 9844813019 (Whatsapp)
I am planning to conduct a workshop with Terracotta artist Venki Palimar in Bangalore, later this year. If interested, do write to me at the email mentioned.