Aalekhya Murals is a studio focusing on art creation, particularly traditional mural art works. It is a joint venture of two artists, Rejeev Ayyampuzha and Nanditha Babu, located at Mookkannoor, Angamaly. Rejeev and Nanditha have enriched the walls of several houses, jewelleries and hotels with distinctive murals. They have had creative stints abroad, introducing Indian tradition in their projects.
Rejeev is an illustrator par excellence. HIs works enliven the page art and literary magazines like Kanal, Kathir and Thaliyola. He takes classes on mural painting in various camps too. As a conservationist, Rajeev put his soul into renovating centuries-old murals in Kudamaloor Vasudevapuram Temple and Velorvattom Sree Mahadeva Temple. He has contributed new murals to Sree Subramania Swamy Temple Perunna, Changanasseri, Ariyannoorkavu Temple, Mavelikkara, Lakshmanaswamy Temple, Moozhikulam, Devi temple, Vayakkarakavu, and Sree Narayana Temple, Ezhupunna.
Mural art is Nanditha's obsession, as it were. She devotes herself to murals, almost exclusively. That mural is largely a man's world, though for no known reason, makes her a particularly distinguished artist in this field.
Together they have conducted Anamika, an art exhibition at Durbar Hall Art Gallery, Ernakulam. The event in May 2013 was widely acclaimed in the art world. Sexual exploitation of children was the excruciating theme. Stalwarts like C.N. Karunakaran, Bose Krishnamachari, Director BINALE, KOCHI and writer K.L. Mohana Varma commended it in glowing terms.
Born in Ayyampuzha, Ernakulam dist. Kerala, Rajeevdisplayed immense talent from his early childhood. He won prizes at Sub –District and State levels several times in pencil drawing, watercolor painting and clay modeling. Rajeev Ayyampuzha took his BFA from Sree Sankaracharya Sanskrit University Kalady. He was accepted as a disciple by mural maestros and famous painters while he was in University. Many opportunities came his way to do murals in many temples and to renovate old ones in others.
He has renovated century old murals in:-
1. Kudamaloor Vasudevapuram Temple.
2. Velorvattom SreeMahadeva Temple
Drawn new ones in.
1. Sree Subramania Swamy Temple Perunna, Changanasseri.
2. Ariyannoorkavu Temple Mavelikkara.
3. Lakshmanaswamy Temple Moozhikulam.
4. Devi temple Vayakkarakavu.
5. SreeMahadeva Temple Velorvattom.
6. SreeNarayana Temple, Ezhupunna.
He has conducted many group and solo exhibitions.
"Anamika", an art exhibition conducted at Durbar Hall Art Gallery, Ernakulam on 19 May 2013 along with Nanditha Babu was widely acclaimed. Stalwarts like artist C.N. Karunakaran, Bose Krishnamachari, Director BINALE, KOCHI and writer K.L. MohanaVarma graced the occasion with their august presence. The painting "Anamika" based on sexually exploited childhood was striking and noteworthy.
He conducts 'Aalekhya Murals' in association with NandithaBabu at MokkannoorAngamaly. He has enriched the walls of several homes, beautified jewellery and hotels with murals. He has drawn many pictures in the traditional style in many foreign countries. He gives illustrates literary magazines like Kanal, Kathiru and Thaliyola. He devotes time to take classes on mural painting in various camps also.
Nanditha Babu was born in Eramallor, Ernakulam Dist., and educated in Munnar, Chammanad, and went to N.S.S. College, Cherthala.
The mural painting of Thuravoor Narasimhasami Temple prompted her to the world of painting. Her paintings in charcoal and water color did not hinder her interest in mural painting.
It is believed that she inherited this art form from an ancestor in her family who was an expert in the traditional style of mural painting in temples. Her yearning for mural painting took her to the maestro Sri. Rejeev Ayyampuzha who followed the traditional school of mural painting. She has visited several times many temples and palaces resplendent with mural painting. She has mastered this art with deep involvement and hard work.
After five years of study she joined her hands with her master Sri Rejeev Ayyampuzha and founded ‘AALEKHYA MURALS’, a residential gallery in Mookkannoor. Then she started her career adorning the walls of several homes, jewellery, hotels with murals based on slokas of the goddess. Contrary to tradition, she was given special permission to decorate the walls of Ezhupunna SreeNarayanapuram Vishnu Temple with Anandasana Vishnu and Gajendramoksham.
She has also conducted several exhibitions in and outside Kerala. ‘Anamika’ an exhibition conducted in association with her master on 19 May 2013 at Durbar Hall Art Gallery, Ernakulam won her acclaim and laurels. World famous artists like Bose Krishnamachari and K.L. MohanaVarmainaugurated this exhibition. The media has always extended to her their warm support.
A mural is any piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other large permanent surface. A distinguishing characteristic of mural painting is that the architectural elements of the given space are harmoniously incorporated into the picture.
Some wall paintings are painted on large canvases, which are then attached to the wall. Whether these works can be accurately called "murals" is a subject of some controversy in the art world, but the technique has been in common use since the late 19th century.
Murals of sorts date to Upper Paleolithic times such as the paintings in the Chauvet Cave in Ardèche department of southern France (around 30,000 BC). Many ancient murals have survived in Egyptian tombs (around 3150 BC), the Minoan palaces (Middle period III of the Neopalatial period, 1700-1600 BC) and in Pompeii (around 100 BC - AD 79).
There are many different styles and techniques. The best-known is probably fresco, which uses water-soluble paints with a damp lime wash, a rapid use of the resulting mixture over a large surface, and often in parts (but with a sense of the whole).
The colors lighten as they dry. Murals today are painted in a variety of ways, using oil or water-based media. The styles can vary from abstract to trompe-l'œil (a French term for "fool" or "trick the eye"). Initiated by the works of mural artists like Graham Rust or Rainer Maria Latzke in the 1980s, trompe-l'oeil painting has experienced a renaissance in private and public buildings in Europe. Today, the beauty of a wall mural has become much more widely available with a technique whereby a painting or photographic image is transferred to poster paper or canvas which is then pasted to a wall surface to give the effect of either a hand-painted mural or realistic scene.
The history of Indian murals starts in ancient and early medieval times, from 2nd century BC to 8th – 10th century AD. There are known more than 20 locations around India containing murals from this period, mainly natural caves and rock-cut chambers. The highest achievements of this time are the caves of Ajanta, Bagh, Sittanavasal, Armamalai Cave (Tamil Nadu), Ravan Chhaya rock shelter, Kailasanatha temple in Ellora Caves.
Murals from this period depict mainly religious themes of Buddhist, Jain and Hindu religions. There are though also locations where paintings were made to adorn mundane premises, like the ancient theatre room in Jogimara Cave and possible royal hunting lodge circa 7th-century AD – Ravan Chhaya rock shelter.
The pattern of large-scale wall painting, which had dominated the scene, witnessed the advent of miniature paintings during the 11th & 12th centuries. This new style figured first in the form of illustrations etched on palm-leaf manuscripts. The contents of these manuscripts included literature on Buddhism & Jainism. In eastern India, the principal centres of artistic and intellectual activities of
the Buddhist religion were Nalanda, Odantapuri, Vikramshila and Somarpura situated in the Pala kingdom (Bengal & Bihar).
Indian painting has a very long tradition and history in Indian art. The earliest Indian paintings were the rock paintings of pre-historic times, the petroglyphs as found in places like Bhimbetka, some of them from before 5500 BC. India's Buddhist literature is replete with examples of texts which describe palaces of the army and the aristocratic class embellished with paintings, but the paintings of the Ajanta Caves are the most significant of the few survivals. Smaller scale painting in manuscripts was probably also practised in this period, though the earliest survivals are from the medieval period. Mughal painting represented a fusion of the Persian miniature with older Indian traditions, and from the 17th century its style was diffused across Indian princely courts of all religions, each developing a local style. Company paintings were made for British clients under the British raj, which from the 19th century also introduced art schools along Western lines, leading to modern Indian painting, which is increasingly returning to its Indian routes.
Indian paintings provide an aesthetic continuum that extends from the early civilisation to the present day. From being essentially religious in purpose in the beginning, Indian painting has evolved over the years to become a fusion of various cultures and traditions.
Almost all early painting in India survives in caves, as very few buildings from Ancient India survive, and though these were probably often painted, the work has been lost. The history of cave paintings in India or rock art range from drawings and paintings from prehistoric times, beginning around 30,000 BCE in the caves of Central India, typified by those at the Bhimbetka rock shelters to elaborate frescoes at sites such as the rock-cut artificial caves at Ajanta and Ellora, extending as late as the 8th - 10th century CE.
There are known more than 20 locations around India containing murals from this period, mainly natural caves and rock-cut chambers. The highest achievements of this time are the caves of Ajanta, Bagh, Sittanavasal, Armamalai Cave (Tamil Nadu), Ravan Chhaya rock shelter, Kailasanatha temple in Ellora Caves.
The Frescoes of Ajanta are paintings in the Ajanta Caves which are situated near Aurangabad in Maharashtra. The caves are carved out of large rocks. Inside many of the caves are frescoes. Frescoes are paintings which are done on wet plaster in which colours become fixed as the plaster dries. The Ajanta Frescoes have a special importance of their own. They are found on the walls and ceilings at Ajanta. The paintings reflect different phases of Indian Culture from jain tirthankar mahaveer's birth to his nirvana in the 8th Century AD. The frescoes have degraded slightly, due to the effect of flash photography. Photography here has now been banned, to prevent further degradation of the frescoes.. They depict themes of court life, feasting, processions, men and women at work, festivals, and various natural scenes including animals, birds and flowers. The artists used shading to give a three-dimensional effect.
Similarly, at Bagh Caves, 150 km away to the north of Ajanta, beautiful frescoes have been found. Though the themes in these paintings are both secular and religious, they do depict some aspect of Buddhist life and rituals. One of the most famous paintings shows a procession of elephants. Another depicts a dancer and women musicians. These have been influenced by Ajanta style of paintings. These frescoes show a strong resemblance to the frescoes of Sigiriya in Sri Lanka.
Kerala mural paintings are the frescos depicting mythology and legends, which are drawn on the walls of temples and churches in South India, principally in Kerala. Ancient temples, churches and palaces in Kerala, South India, display an abounding tradition of mural paintings mostly dating back between the 9th to 12th centuries CE when this form of art enjoyed Royal patronage.
The masterpieces of Kerala mural art include: the Shiva Temple in Ettumanoor, the Ramayana murals of Mattancherry Palace and Vadakkumnatha kshetram. The "Gajendra Moksham" mural painting in the Krishnapuram Palace near Kayamkulam, the Anantha Shayanam mural painting in the Pallikurup Mahavishnu Temple, Mannarkkad Palakkad District and the mural paintings in the sanctom of Padmanabha temple at Thiruvananthapuram are very famous.
The murals of Thirunadhikkara Cave Temple (now ceded to Tamil Nadu) and Tiruvanchikulam are considered the oldest relics of Kerala’s own style of murals. Fine mural paintings are depicted in temples at Trikodithanam, Ettumanur, Vaikom, Pundarikapuram, Udayanapuram, Triprangode, Guruvayoor, Kumaranalloor, Aymanam, the Vadakkunathan temple in Trichur, the Thodeekalam temple in Kannur and the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple at Thiruvananthapuram. Other mural sites are in the churches at Edappally, Vechur, Cheppad and Mulanthuruthy, and at palaces such as the Krishnapuram Palace near Kayamkulam and the Padmanabhapuram Palace.
The traditional style mural art form, using natural pigments and vegetable colours, is being revived by a new genre of artists actively involved in researching and teaching mural art at the Sree Sankara Sanskrit College in Kalady and also at a mural art school associated with the Guruvayoor temple.