As we reported already, Suriya and Karthi have organised a lot of events to mark the 75th birthday of their father, Sivakumar, which also marks his 50th year in films.
On October 24 evening, a painting exhibition containing Sivakumar’s works was inaugurated at Lalit Kala Akademi. The paintings will be on display on October 25-26
“We are putting up 140 of my best paintings — each on a 30×40 inches canvas — that I did over the course of so many years,” Sivakumar said.
The expo was inaugurated by well-known artist and former Principal of Government College of Arts & Crafts Alphonso Das in the presence of Sivakumar, Artist Maniam Selven, Artist A P Shreethar and Karthi.
Sivakumar has drawn hundreds of paintings during the period 1958 to 1965 and preserved them. This exhibition comprises of select 100 paintings out of them, sketched during that period.
The collection comprises variety of drawings including pencil drawings to crayon sketches to water color paintings, oil paintings and portrait sketches of eminent personalities and many important locations across the country.
Sivakumar mentioned, “The period 1959 to 1965 was the best period in my life when I studied at Government College of Arts and Crafts, Chennai. My feelings were akin to that of a dove that leaves its cage for the very first time and spreads its wings in flight in the wide open skies, experiencing great awe and wonderment! The six years that I spent in that College, with peers, both boys and girls of my age, who were equally talented in the Arts, was undoubtedly the Spring-time of my life!
With no qualms about any future plans, at the break of dawn, with just a paper and brush, like a nomad I wandered the streets of Chennai, Madurai, Trichy, Tanjore, Kanyakumari,
Tirupati, Tiruvannamalai, Ajanta-Ellora, Delhi and Agra, drawing sketches, eating only what I was able to get and sleeping on platforms for many days. I adore those sketches and paintings as much as my own children!
The total cost of wandering all over India for seven years and drawing my sketches, was a mere seven thousand and five hundred rupees. Compare that to the present day – the cost of lunch for a family at a five-star hotel alone is more than ten thousand rupees! Though to survive, I ate three simple meals a day, owned only few sets of clothing and slept on the floor much like a sparrow or saint, those years remain precious to me as I had noble goals and felt proud about my achievements through paintings.
I am delighted my sons Suriya and Karthi have taken up the responsibility to organize this painting exhibition on the occasion of me completing 75 years, after 50 years of drawing those sketches and giving me the biggest happiness in my life. I feel reborn with my art being celebrated, about which I was always proud more than my any other achievements. I will be happy if the future generation is benefited through this painting exhibition, he concluded.