Award Winning Deaf Art -‘Shades of Silence’

They had aptly titled it ‘Shades of Silence’, a painting exhibition which began at Lalithakala Academy Art Gallery at Vyloppilli Samskrithi Bhavan on Monday under the aegis of Alliance Group and SignTv, a city-based online news channel for the deaf. And, the duo opted to borrow the voice of Mohan’s son Amit to elaborate on their works on display.”This collage of a village was made with paper cuttings from past editions of a vernacular magazine. It took me two months to complete it, but I loved doing it,” Mohan said pointing at the collage christened ‘My Village’, and the sparkle that flashed across the 73-year-old’s visage was a testimony to his great passion for the art.This is the first major exhibition by Mohan Varma and Jayaprakash, who had won state awards for the most efficient differently-abled employees in 1995 and 1996 respectively.

And, ‘Shades of Silence’ speaks volumes on their artistic journey and their struggle to overcome their disabilities and prove their mettle. On display are 45 works by Mohan and 30 by Jayaprakash.A retired employee of Kerala Bhasha Institute, Mohan was fond of painting since his childhood. But, he had tried a hand at paper collage just 14 years ago when his wife asked him if he could create something artistic out of the old newspapers and magazines which lay stacked at home.”Though my favourite mediums till then were acrylic, oil paint and watercolour, I gradually got lured by the challenging art of paper collages.

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