Husain: An artist who loved Kerala

Husain: An artist who loved Kerala

In recognition of his outstanding contribution to Indian painting, Husain was selected for Kerala's highest award for artists named after legendary painter Raja Ravi Varma in 2007. But he could not receive the honour as by then he was already in self-imposed exile.

Last year, eminent Malayalam film-maker Shaji N Karun announced his plan to make a documentary film on the master painter and obtained his consent.

Shaji, who tentatively titled the work as "In search of motherhood" and held several rounds of discussions with Husain, said he was shocked to hear about the demise of the painter.

"Just a few months back, we met in Dubai. He turned up at an award function unintimated and told me he came just to meet me. I was surprised and humbled by him," Shaji told PTI.

"The project I conceived was something like 10 favourite works of Husain interacting with its creator with the concept of motherhood latent as the basic theme," he said.

"Husain lost his mother at a very young age. Towards the end of his life he was to live as an exile leaving the motherland. This was what I planned to convey through my docufilm," the film-maker said.According to Shaji, shooting of the film got delayed as Husain was engaged in a major work for the Qatar royal family. He wanted to sculpt some work using crystal and he appeared a bit worried that he did not get the kind of material he had in his mind, Shaji said.

"We were planning to start the film as soon as Husain completed the project he was engaged in. It was quite unfortunate that he has left us. It is a loss to the world of art as well as for me personally," he said.

Some 10 years back, Husain did a series of illustrations for Kerala Tourism titled "Kalayanikuttiyute Lokam" (World of Kalyanikutty).

It featured Kerala's splendid beauty and local life through the eyes of an emblematic Malayali woman, who blends tradition and modernity in her persona.

Husain acknowldged his deep appreciation of Kerala, saying "if Kashmir is all about men and mountian, then Kerala is all about women and nature".

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