World on Walls
Historic icons like Chanakya, late footballer Maradona, and many others adorn the 25-ft-long wall of Soman Atheena’s house. During the lockdown, the 67-year-old artist from Thrissur turned his house into a vast canvas with portraits of 325 legendary personalities. Soman, who worked as a drawing teacher in Indian School Muscat for 25 years, likes to call the paintings Bharatha Darshanam. “It contains the portraits of all the freedom fighters, historic icons, singers, and reformers from the country. Though a majority of the portraits are of Indian personalities, I have included the international legends too. For me, this painting is a reference for the next generation to remember those prolific personalities by,” says Soman.
Skilled in realistic art, he painted the walls as part of house renovation.“I chose to do the interiors myself. It was therapeutic during the pandemic, as it gave me time to explore my artistic side.” The artist also experimented with textures and 3D paintings. “I feel sad that there are no more walls to paint in the house,” he quips.
Back in Muscat, he used to draw a theme on the stage wall at the school for every annual day. “Filling the walls of my house was more fun and I wanted to inspire other artists to draw and nourish their talent. The painting of a horse running out of a dark cave depicts that we shall overcome this dark phase,” he says.
Soman is planning a surprise for his students. “I am giving my art studio a new look with 3D paintings. The theme is nature and for that, I will portray waterfalls of Athirapally along with other flora and fauna. I want to make my students feel as if they stepped into a new world when they get back to the studio after the lockdown,” concludes Soman.