Kerala painter’s work on Oz history lauded Down Under

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 11 (IANS) A Kerala painter has created history Down Under through his unique painting “Pride of Australia” in which 50 eminent Australian personalities are depicted on a single canvas.

The canvas measures 50 metres in length and 1.5 metres in width.

Melbourne-settled Keralite painter Sedunath Prabhakar’s work, which took him close to three years to finish, won him many accolades when it was showcased for the first time on September 26 at Glen Eira city Town Hall, Melbourne.

The event was inaugurated by Craig Ondarchie, state member of northern metropolitan region, shadow minister for investment and jobs, and other Australian dignitaries.

“I received a good response when the exhibition opened and was approached to showcase my work in other Australian cities too,” Prabhakar told IANS from Melbourne.

“Ever since I landed in Australia seven years back, what fascinated me was the country’s rich indigenous culture and history. Many famous personalities and their contributions triggered within me the desire to provide a tribute to them and to this country, through my artistic talent,” said Prabhakar.

“After lot of research, I selected 50 personalities.”

The 50 personalities include Donald Bradman, first lady prime minister of Australia Julia Gillard, Captain James Cook (explorer), John Monash (Army Commander who took part in World War I), Patrick White (Nobel awardee), Emily Kame Kngwarreye (aboriginal artist), swimmer Ian Thorpe and footballer Tim Cahill among others.

Recalling his piece of art, he said he first sketched the individual and then used acrylic medium to paint. It took, on an average, three to four days for him to complete each of the 50 personalities.

Prabhakar was elated by the response he received from the guests and Craig Ondarchie.

“But he (Prabhakar) will be another icon who is from another country and made an amazing portrait of our greats. I have never seen this kind of a tribute in Australian art history,” said Nick Staikos, an MP.

The painting is on a canvas which can be rolled up and, thus, is easily portable.

Hailing from Kidangoor in Kottayam district, Prabhakar did his graduation in Fine Arts from the prestigious Baroda School of Arts in 1998 and reached Melbourne in 2008 along with his wife who now works as a social worker.

Prabhakar is not resting on his laurels and is trying to explore the possibilities of a fusion of Australia’s rich artistic tradition with his own.

“I am now looking forward to meet indigenous Australian artists to work with them and learn from them. I also would like to teach them some of our Indian traditions,” added Prabhakar.

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