Painter, sculpture, professor, playwright and actor, C S Jayaram is a versatile figure in the art arena.
Nearly 50 years ago, when C S Jayaram joined the fine arts club of Sacred Hearts, college Kochi, little did he know that he would change the lives of hundreds of art aspirants. His aspiration to shape his artistic skills later landed him at the art and culture centre, Kerala Kalapeetom at Kochi and Kerala Lalithakala Akademi.
For starters, Jayaram is a lifecasting artist and painter. He produces face masks — casting impressions of the face in Plaster of Paris and clay for plays and art events. This artist believes in the philosophy, ‘art sustains the love for mankind’. His paintings display a tone and tenor that transverses to mythical and literary interpretations. The water colour works like muted Souparnika river, the evil eyes of King Tereus, ‘Voyeur’, a stick figure standing behind the deceptively translucent window and ‘Visitation’ an apparition whispering something to a sleeping human are fine examples.
An experimental artist
Right from his school days, Jayaram was active in theatre. “Macbeth is my Magnum Opus. While working in SH college, I designed sets and costumes for the play. I also acted as Macbeth”, says Jayaram who has acted in the Malayalam film ‘Poomaram’ and did a cameo in ‘Kung fu Master’.
During the analogue era, when digital printing was not popular, he tried his hands on darkroom printing. “I learnt it from my friend in London who came to Kochi and opened a studio. I worked with him and learnt photography later”, he adds. He conducts several workshops relating to the theoretical aspects underlying painting and photography and also practical workshops for sculpting and clay modelling.
Jayaram, a recipient of the national award for graphics and two Lalithakala Akademi Awards, was an executive member of the Akademi. A professor of literature, Jayaram always believed in the interdisciplinary approach to any form of studies.
He currently serves as a professor in the Department of English and Languages and Department of Visual Media and Communication, Amrita School of Arts & Sciences, Kochi. His disciples include Priya Kurian, illustrator, animation filmmaker and comic book artist, art critic and curator John Xavier.
He had exhibited a show alongside renowned writer Kamala Das in Chitram gallery in Kochi. His paintings will be displayed at the upcoming art show ‘Lokame Tharavadu curated by renowned artist and curator, Bose Krishnamachari.