Quiet flows river Cauvery in artist's imagination

Natural splendor

River Cauvery here is flowing elegantly. Undisturbed by protests and  demands, inspiring thoughts of artist G S Bhavani, she is brimming in the artist’s photographs, video and paintings at ‘Journey with river Cauvery’ an expo at Sabrang Art Gallery, Saraswathipuram.

Bhavani, a native of Kodagu, where the river Cauvery takes her birth, identifies herself with the river and travels with it finding serenity. Usually, rivers, named after females in India, has avowed the artist to travel in parallel with river Cauvery. She sits, lies down to arrest the river in her sketch, paintings and also in frames, and capture  her in the videos to content herself with each and every minute details of the water body, whom she assumes to be her fellow traveller too.

The video and the images at the expo start with the milestones, reading ‘three km to Talacauvery,’ ‘two km,’ ‘one km’ till reaching the origin of the river. Talacauvery being a holy place for the populace of Kodagu in particular, goddess Cauvery is worshiped by them as ‘Kuladevathe (family deity).’ The artist wonders why the river Kannika, which is on the other side of Bramhagiri hills, from where river Cauvery originates, loses her identity after mingling with the latter. She says main source of river Cauvery has been transformed into man made rectangular tank called ‘kundike,’ where river Cauvery provides ‘darshana’ to her devotees. The waterflowing down from small space, thereafter vanishes and is visible only at Bhagamandala.

Before reaching Bay of Bengal, how the river gushes through forests, running as streams, hushing up her paths and falling from high mountains, being a feast to nature lovers, calming under bridges, creating her way between rocks, lighting up lives of farmers and fishermen, getting worshiped and witnessing bathing and washing activities at the banks, is detailed in the images and video of Bhavani.

The hues of her art, also has the darker sides of the river. The worst experience being cleaning the slaughtered animals in rivers and how people in cities wait for the same water to quench their thirst.  Sharing her experiences with Deccan Herald, Bhavani said, she developed passion towards the river since young and wondered how the water flows into rivers and streams. She was amazed with the other side of experiences after settling in Bangalore. “Unaware of the bitterness of the pollution, residents wait for the water and collect the first can for puja calling it as ‘madi neeru,’” Bhavani laments. She has her senses attracted towards the river, her heart ponders over it’s alluring beauty in all its existing forms, which has made her to discover them with her camera.

Bhavani says, compared to Bangalore there are more number of visitors here.  One can travel with it being Kannika, Sujjothe,  Kakkabbe, Harangi (Attihole), Hemavathi, Laxmantheertha, Lokapavani, Kabini, Shimsha, Arkavathi in Karnataka and as Lokapavani, Bhavani, Noyyal and Amaravathy in Tamil Nadu to join River Cauvery with their tributaries losing their individuality in the process and later merging with the ocean at Poompuhar with a small temple overlooking their coupling, completing the journey of both females with smoothness of sand on the shore and pleasentness of the breeze.
The expo remains open till December 13 at the gallery from 11 am to 7 pm.

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