How art sculpted a 'Kannadiga' from faraway Odisha

Cross-culture

Tapan Kumar Mohanty with his work in plaster of paris, Sangolli Rayanna. dh photo

The saying ‘Art has no boundaries,’ appears true in the case of 27-year-old Mohanty, whose hand moves freely as he sculpts images of the temples and historical icons on the WKC stage.

Hailing from Paradeep in Odisha, the young sculptor is a student of well-known sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik. The ‘shishya’ met his guru at Jagannath Puri. Patnaik instilled confidence in him, saying art would help him win his bread anywhere.

Mohanty expresses his gratitude to his guru Patnaik, who introduced him to art and to
Karnataka, for supporting and nurturing him.

Mohanty has now made Karnataka his home and is emotional about the art here. He has been a part of the team which is working for the past one month for the WKC.

“I had been to many places like Mumbai and Surat in search of art which reflects realism. I found it in Karnataka,” says the artiste, who adores traditional art form. Mohanty has sculpted replicas in plaster of Paris of temples and monuments of the Hoysalas, the Chalukyas (Pattadakallu), the Gangas (Gomateshwara), the Adil Shahis (Gol Gumbaz) and statues of freedom fighters like Sangolli Rayanna and Kittur Chennamma.

Mohanty says, “Karnataka is a culmination of several art forms, including the Chalukya, Hoysala, Dravidian and Indo Ceresemic. It is simple and realistic and there is lot of scope for creativity.” He is here with a team of artistes as part of an assignment for his company, Pratiroopi. Despite his short stay of two years in Karnataka, he speaks fluent Kannada.

Mohanty, who lost his family members during the infamous hurricane in 1999, which took a toll of about one lakh people, recollects that he had travelled a long way before he landed in Karnataka, where he was patronised by Shashidhar Adapa.

“I lost my parents, three brothers, two sisters and my sister-in-law in the hurricane. Though I tried to settle down in Mumbai and Surat, I could not. I decided to pursue a career in Karnataka and came here,” he says.

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