Chandrahas Jalihal’s landscapes of hope

A note of fantasy fills the artist’s canvasses of idyllic landscapes, perhaps inspired by his rural experiences

Chandrahas Jalihal's works are all about lush green idyllic landscapes that are fertile and full of life but caught in the throes of development. Saplings sprout across the ground, bring hope and assert their presence. Though they seem delicate, they permeate the walls and show their resolve. It is not that there is no human settlement to challenge them but these habitats are small in scale and contained in manageable proportions. The buildings seen here do not seem to represent the monstrous growth of a big city that will devour all greenery in its wake. It seems like his childhood memories of a cosy landscape of Balaganur in Raichur district are recreated in these paintings. In that sense, he is true to his rural experience. Even the trees, bushes and saplings that are drawn are stylised and vivacious but tamed. It is not the wild growth of a forest, but a manicured landscape. There is abundant suggestion of a peaceful co-existence. The colours used suggest various seasons from sunny summer to cloudy monsoon.

In many works, these landscapes are framed by arches, compounds and imaginary boxes suggesting the containment of the scene. In some works, there is a play between inside and outside; they switch places and the demarcation between them is fluid. This brings in an element of the unreal and a note of fantasy. There are also iconic pensive individuals who are caught in this bind, some of whom try to keep these two worlds apart so that they don’t collide.

Chandrahas graduated from Gulbarga College of Art and went to Santiniketan for a post diploma. He has shown his works in many cities in India, and in Singapore. He has won the Bombay Art Society award and the Karnataka Lalita Kala Academy award. He lives and works in Gulbarga, Karnataka.

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