It sometimes takes 1 ton of stainless steel for Nambiar to finish a painting. It'll cost you more to take it home than to buy it!
Shrishti Art Gallery is organising an exhibition of sculptures and enamel paintings by Balan Nambiar, from 17th to 30th November. Nambiar’s sculptures are a simple variant of the Kannadi Bimbam - the sacred mirror of the Great Goddess of Kerala. Its graceful circle was precisely cut in polished stainless steel and topped by a low, pointed arch. The mirror representing the deity remains her embodiment and shrine. It's mounted lightly on a stylised handle that almost turns into a column, and a slim pedestal supports it on a smaller, horizontal circle with three conical shapes for votive offerings.
The sculptures are made of stainless steel, besides cement, welded steel, bronze and stone, and sometimes combine contradictory granite and marble, as also fiberglass, silver, copper, stainless steel and enamel. Nambiar also does sculpture with clay, wood and mild steel. He feels that sculpture in stainless steel is durable and easy to maintain.
His enamel paintings are again devoted to the Divine Goddess. They range from abstracted figuration with the sensuous mother-goddess-dancer, whose body and clothes bond rough pulses and textures of earth with celestial motions, to geometry-guided constructions of metal, where the smoother surface and the clear shape hint at the eternal paths of the spheres.
Enamel paintings are jewelry enamel in art, with colored vitreous material, fused by heat on to a ground of gold, silver or copper.
Balan is a painter, sculptor, enamelist, photographer and a research scholar, born in 1937 in Kannapuram, in the Kannur district of Kerala. He acquired a Diploma in Fine Arts (Sculpture) from the Government College of Arts & Crafts, Chennai, in 1971.
He has been part of various solo exhibitions and shows in New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore and Trivandrum, besides Germany, Italy and the USA. He has been conferred upon with various awards, such as the Academy Fellowhip Award from the Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy in 2006, the Nehru Fellowship from the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund, New Delhi, for the year 1938-85, the Senior Fellowship from the Ministry of Education in 1982-83, and the National Award from the Central Lalitha Kala Academy.
He has a well-equipped studio at Mahadevapura, near Bangalore, from where he has executed over 100 stainless steel sculptures since 2000. The height of these pieces ranges from ten centimeters to over seven meters, the heaviest being over a ton. Most of the works were designed with a computer, and the stainless steel components were precision-cut at the Magod laser plant at Jigini. He derives inspiration from the sacred rituals from his state of Kerala.
Please contact the gallery at 2354-0023 for further details.