Exhibitions > 2007 > Moving Earth

RATHEESH T., Motherland, 2007, oil on canvas, 183 x 214 cm / 72 x 84 in


Ratheesh T. uses the tensility and evocativeness of the colour green to furnish the seven paintings that comprise Moving Earth, his first solo exhibition, with a striking multivalency. Green and its eclectic chromatic range are the central tropes in this suite of paintings. Green delivers temporal and transcendental landscapes that are alternately threatened and predatorial. The artist's imaging of the colour as a contrapuntal subject has been tinged by his lengthy interactions with nature.

The paintings range from strikingly claustrophobic – replicating the tenebrous climate of the artist's studio in Trivandrum – to those that are not so compellingly packed. In the fraught Motherland (2007) shown here, the artist grafts the demise of architecture with his enduring concern about depleting greens. In this formally elaborate painting, the magnified component represents the gradual devastation of the ecosystem. The complex circuitries of mostly pastel coloured vacuous tripe inundate the epidermis of the leaf. Clots of cement clog the stomata. The veins of the leaves are consistently iridescent, as though the red rain experienced by Kerala has been channelled into them. The venation illuminates not just the gullies of frantic concrete activity but also the craters of yawning space left in the wake of anthropomorphic beetles. The yoke of this irregular planning will eventually cause abscission in these leaves. With this ironic title, it is Ratheesh's prescient suggestion that we treat these soon-to-be-abscissed leaves as the new Motherland and construct around them another flawed mythology.


Ratheesh T