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Support Kerala live painting campaign

Dubai Outlet Mall

Dubai: More than a dozen Dubai-based artists joined hands — literally — on Friday to do a live doodle painting for the benefit of flood victims in the South Indian state of Kerala. Nearly a month after devastating floods wreaked havoc, a group of artists painted a canvas depicting the state’s cultural and religious art forms, to encourage the public to donate directly to the Chief Minister’s Distress Fund to support and rebuild Kerala. Some 13 artists from India and one Emirati painted a canvas in front of mall goers at the Dubai Outlet Mall, to show their support for this non-profit initiative.

Sijin Gopinathan, the artist who organised the event, said a total of 14 artists participated to represent the 14 districts of Kerala. They chose not to create a depressing image depicting the current situation in Kerala, but wanted an image that brought hope, he said.

“This is our contribution to Kerala. We are using Theyyam categorically and other different art forms. The artwork will be exhibited here for one month, so that mall visitors of different nationalities know what is happening there and may be encouraged to give their bit,” Gopinathan, a doodle and mural artist, told Gulf News. The artwork showed Theyyam, a famous ritual art form that originated in north Kerala, bringing folklore to life through dance, mime and music. It also features Kathakali, a classical dance form, and Rudram, a temple dance form in Kerala. At its centre is a young Keralite boy seeking help, connecting the entire image.

Gopinathan said the public can also show their support by stamping their handprints on one of the canvases that bears the word ‘Hope’.

Varsha Sureka, one of the artists, said she’s honoured to be part of the initiative. “We’re doing this because it’s a noble cause and the entire profit will go to the chief minister’s fund, to be used for the rehabilitation and betterment of Kerala.” Another abstract doodle artist taking part in the initiative, Asha Menon, said while their families in Kerala were not affected, they have friends who were affected badly.

“Their houses were completely flooded. It was only last week that they were able to go back to their homes. Currently, the deadly ‘rat fever’ is plaguing Kerala after the flood waters receded. It took a little time for money to flow in from other places. But Keralites stayed strong. They stood up for themselves and took care of each other,” Menon said.

Gopinathan said the public can do their bit by scanning the QR Code displayed beside the paintings, to donate to the chief minister’s fund. Other artists who participated in the initiative were Ahmad Al Falasi, Bhairavi Mistry, Shehi Shafi, Sunil Bindhani, Shyamlal K.S., Aaarathi Sunil, Fathima Renouza Razook, Gayathri Adiyolil, Aneesh Chandra, Kiran Artifex, and Reji Venjaramood.

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