An exhibition of sculptures that derive inspiration from Jallikattu | art and culture | Hindustan Times
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An exhibition of sculptures that derive inspiration from Jallikattu

Around 15 bronze sculptures from the bull series of Tamil artist Elanchezhiyan Pichaikannu highlight the issue of Jallikattu but in an aesthetical manner.

art and culture Updated: May 01, 2017 17:01 IST
Henna Rakheja
A bronze and granite sculpture of a bull by Tamil artist Elanchezhiyan Pichaikannu.
A bronze and granite sculpture of a bull by Tamil artist Elanchezhiyan Pichaikannu.

The recent ban on Jallikattu created quite a stir and made headlines across the world. Tamil Nadu-based artist is shedding light on the issue through his 18 sculptures of bulls among other objects. “I started working on the bull series about 7 years back,” says artist Elanchezhiyan Pichaikannu, whose works are being displayed at the exhibition, The Eternal Waiting.

A bronze and granite sculpture from the bull series.

His works are inspired by the age-old tradition of bullfighting practiced in Southern parts of India. “These are different forms of bulls, in different movements. The bull is important to me as I belong to an agrarian family, which worships the animal. The prime example is the Nandhi statue that is seen in every Shiva temple,” he adds.

In some of the bronze sculptures, the bull appears ferocious, while in others, it is sculpted as a docile animal. It isn’t just the natural bronze colour that the artist uses, but also the green colour of patina (a thin layer that develops on the oxidised metal) that he highlights on some of the sculptures to give a dramatic effect to the sculptures.

A sculpture representing the Jallikattu game.

A show of human figurines approaching a bull, a male figure trying to stop the animal by its tail and Lord Shiva with his consort Parvati are also carved along with these bull sculptures. “It gives me immense joy in sculpting the bulls as per my imaginations. We can also find the images of cow and bull in many cave paintings and in folklore. It reminds me of the all the memories I had with the bulls,” says the artist.

A bronze and granite sculpture of a bull with patina - the green layer on top.

About Jallikattu, the bull-taming game, he says: “In my view, the play is only for humans and not animals. Culture and tradition should be kept alive but not at the cost of animals.”

Catch It Live
  • What: The Eternal Waiting
  • Where: Gallery Art Positive, Lado Sarai
  • On till: February 25
  • Timings: 11am to 7pm
  • Nearest Metro Station: Malviya Nagar on Yellow Line