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A coffee book table on art

Anuradha Vellat, Bangalore, Jan 29, 2014, DHNS : 2:15 IST
The sketch of St Philomena's Church in Mysore drawn by artist Kamalesh in one sitting, without any revision.
You can call it a coffee table book for namesake, but it really is an art book, said artist Kamalesh. From Madhukeshwara Temple in Banavasi to the Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore, the art book has 100 sketches of historically relevant places in Karnataka, captured in one sitting by the critically acclaimed artist.

Nearly after a decade, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath is coming out with what is called ‘Symphony in Lines’, an exclusive coffee table book that has picturesque and unique drawings of buildings, places, monuments, pilgrimage spots and the like.
This is for the first time in the history of Karnataka that a book depicting its architectural riches is coming out. Governor H R Bhardwaj will officially launch it on February 10.

“The unique aspect of this is the fact that each drawing has been drawn in one sitting, using one pen. There has been no editing at all. Artists are usually associated with imaginations, but I would say that there is no imagination involved here. It is all factual, whatever immovable things you see in the sketch is the exact replica of what exists,” General Secretary, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath Trust and conceptor behind the book, D K Chowta, said.

“It took us over three-and-a-half to four years to conceptualise this and Kamalesh has been working on it for the past two years to be precise. Many factual descriptions provided alongside the drawings are actually things you cannot find elsewhere,” Chowta told Deccan Herald.

The book, which is about one-and-a-quarter-inch thick, has an opening size of 39 by 30 inches and closing size of 19 by 13 inches. “I lived in over 120 different places in order to bring this out. It has minuscule details of some of the remote places of Karnataka and we can safely say that it is a collector’s piece,” said Kamalesh.

“I used the German Rotring ink to draw them. Madhukeshwara Temple marks the beginning of architecture in Karnataka and the Vidhana Soudha remains to be one of the latest buildings made in classical style. Hence, they are the opening and closing sketches of the book, respectively,” he said.

The 100 sketches will be displayed in frames as well, while launching the book which runs into 218 pages. These drawing will be available for purchase. About 1,500 books will be printed in one go. “It is a limited, one-time edition priced at Rs 5,000. There will not be any reprinting of it,” designer T M V Gowda said.

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