'Lead' sharpens up his skill

A City lad builds a replica of Statue Circle using whopping 7,300 pencil leads

all black: A replica of Chamarajendra Wadiyar Circle built by using pencil leads by the artiste Nanjunda Swamy. DH Photo

Local lad Nanjunda Swamy belongs to the list of such rare genre of artistes. He has built a replica of ‘Chamarajendra Wadiyar’ circle popular as the ‘Statue Circle’ situated opposite Mysore Palace North gate, using only black pencil leads, joining the group of brainy people who experiment with vegetables, soaps, copra and several others to bring out the artiste in them. It took a total of 7,300 leads to built the look alike of the circle for him. The circle is historically significant as it is named after the 23rd Maharaja of Mysore Sri Chamaraja Wadiyar X. The highlight here is, while the existing lifesize statue of the Maharaja is carved out of white marble with similar type of marble used to built the base and steps, it’s exactly opposite in the case of the replica-it’s made of black leads only.

For the first time, after one year of its completion, this piece of art has found space in the exhibition organised by Fine Arts wing at Kannada Karanji building at Dasara Exhibition Grounds.

“I took 28 days to accomplish the task of recreating this particular circle. All I had for a model was the photos of the circle captured in my cellphone and frequent visits to the spot”, Nanjunda Swamy told Deccan Herald.

You may be surprised to know, Nanjunda Swamy does not have any basic education on arts, yet he is a master of his own style. It was by chance, he found artistic life in the pencil leads six years ago. He was sharpening a pencil, when he saw the lead that had assumed a human face like shape. That was his first tryst with art. Gradually, he developed interest towards ‘Krishna Kale’ (Black art) as he has named his discovery and bettered it by constant practice. Replicas of ‘Swamy Vivekananda’, ‘Buddha’ and several other important personalities were carved during practice. Mention must be made of ‘History of Mysore’ finely told through the carvings of elephants, Palace, Clock Tower, Wadiyar and Mahishasura on a single pencil, that came out of his stable in 2008. His maiden attempt at trying big was the ‘Statue Circle’ in 2009.

The statue of Sri Chamaraja Wadiyar X is four inches tall, while the total height including the canopy is measured at 14 inches. Small bulbs fixed to the poles give a real look of the circle. Nanjunda Swamy used equipment like surgical and normal blades, besides needles and feviquick to neatly fix the leads.

Nanjunda Swamy’s other lead made artefacts are also on display in a glass box, at the exhibition. The artefacts placed on revolving base, can be viewed with the help of a magnifying glass.

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