The relics of the erstwhile Vijayanagara empire have seemingly come alive in an ongoing exhibition of one of India's most revered historical sites. Titled The Fabled Hampi, the exhibition, through 44 odd paintings out of a larger collection, almost takes the viewer on a virtual tour of Hampi, in Karnataka, also declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
The collection, by award-winning artist Ganesh Doddamini, is a testimony to a rich bygone era, but what leaves the viewer beguiled is the way the artist has played with light - almost creating a three dimensional effect.
Doddamini, in an extremely fine manner, plays with illumination from different angles, and recreates the nuances of the historical architecture in acrylic on canvas, in both colour and black and white, as well as water colours. The fact that he has made at least 150 paintings on Hampi alone, axiomatically makes one wonder about the artist's fascination with this single monument.
The artist plays with illumination from different angles, and recreates the nuances of the historical architecture in acrylic on canvas, in both colour and black and white, as well as water colours. (Photos: PTI)
"Every time I saw Hampi, I saw it differently; in a different light, with different surroundings," says the artist.
Doddamani says he visited the site very frequently and the collection is an outcome of his multiple stays and interactions with locals. "Hampi had become my home," he says.
In about half a dozen paintings that are on display at the Art Spice Gallery in the Capital, the artist has painted the exterior and interior beside each other. A boy can be seen playing a flute in one of the paintings, and in another, a priest blowing air into a shankh is painted - both with Hampi in the backdrop.
"Previously, the pillars of Hampi were used to produce music for performances, and today these instruments (shankh and flute) are used to create music," says Doddamani. "If a painting that is placed in your house makes you happy every time you look at it, it has served its purpose," he adds.
The paintings at the exhibition, which is on till May 20, are priced between Rs 18,000 and Rs 2 lakh.