Artist of the month: Chandrakant Channe

Chandrakant Channe

Chandrakant Channe is not just an artist but also plays an important role as a teacher. The geometrical representations of rangoli designs were his first inspiration and he is also fascinated with black and white

Q:
At what age did you discover that you are an artist? How did you decide to pursue art?
 
A:
I did not really discover it myself. During my childhood, my relatives and lovers would tell me that I would be a good artist. As a child, the rangoli designs I made were in high demand at festivals in my village, Chimur. Many people told my parents that I had the potential to be a good artist in the future.
 
Q:
Have you experimented with different art forms? Why did you choose graphical drawings?
 
A:
Yes. I experimented in the field of graphics and that has resulted in my artistic expressions in black and white drawings today. My formal training in art education was in painting and graphics. It was easy in Baroda and Shantiniketan to work on graphic machines. As I was not able to find a studio thereafter, I experimented a lot to get the effect on larger paper. I am fortunate that I could even cross the limits of graphic media.
 
Q:
What is the source of inspiration for your graphical drawings?
 
A:
The beautiful play of light and shadow in Ellora's reliefs, the diffused light in Elephanta caves and the Toran reliefs of Sanchi which look different in different kinds of lighting was in a true sense, my inspiration.
 
Q:
Why do you choose B&W as a medium?
 
A:
I love it. I can stop work and restart at any time without losing a rhythm in line and mass too. Of course whenever I have some leisure time, I also paint on canvas.
 
Q:
How has your experience been with teaching art? Does it help you in your work?
 
A:
Yes, it helps very much. Reading books on philosophy and exposure to different ideas and concepts broadened my world view. This also inspired the philosophical bent of my creations.
 
Q:
Who is your mentor and why?
 
A:
Padmabhushan K.G. Subramanium, my guide Nihar Ranjanji, Dr. Ratan Parimoo, Shri Gulam shaikh and many who made helped me reach my goal.
 
Q:
Which of your works is your personal favourite and why?
 
A:
In a way I love all my creations. But my recent huge drawing titled as VARENNYAM, which means 'Best of the Best' is my favourite one. I have dedicated this one to my cute grandson who keeps asking me so many questions about art.
 
Q:
How have the Sabrimala Mountains in the South of India made an impact on you?
 
A:
They have impacted me very deeply. The experience of being in the company of moonlight falling on the huge stones of Shabarimala, creates a sublimation of hollowness in the mind. The grace and the rhythm of blackness enhance the phase four feelings.
 
Q:
Your graphical drawings are said to be a journey into childhood and childlike fantasies. Can you elaborate on this?
 
A:
Fortunately, my childhood was a journey of stress and difficulties making me strong enough to face anything. My mother always taught me to take everything positively. My drawings are a reflection of my childhood with a deep contrast in black and white, much like my mother's womb.
 
Q:
What is one piece of advice you would give to young artists of India?
 
A:
Work continuously, with a positive frame of mind and be faithful to what you have created.
 

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