Hues & Shades of Earth

 Anything under the sun matters to Manu Kallikkadu. Even a piece of paper or a dried leaf, or anything derived from nature can be molded through his fingers, shedding light into his very own world of perspective. His determination, perseverance and inexhaustible bursts of Inspiration all make him an artisan of immense potential, able to ink masterful sketches and pieces regardless of the medium.

Like any artist, He was fascinated with the visual side of life since childhood and he dreamed to become an artist but deterrence from family made his present journey seems like a far away dream at the time. But his determination aided him to conquer all his hurdles and with time, became an artist capable of communicating skillfully across different mediums. The man made his mark on Kerala’s art world with biographical collages, ink sketches and mud paintings.

VARAYANAM, a mud painting series with 40 pieces, depict various tales throughout the legendary epic of the Ramayana, and as a symbol of respect to mother earth, the entire series is made using mud; fine-tuned vividly in different colors, using white, brown and black soil in various tones. .Every culture has its origins in air, earth and water. The cultural heritage of the Ramayana also stems from mud, the very reason Manu selected it as his medium to reflect the thoughts and voice his protests against the exploitation of nature. His mud art is centered around minimalism and abstract storytelling, creating minimal but very meaningful strokes breathing life into simple lines and shapes. Through this, the artist encourages people to embrace their natural roots through mud.

Manu says,“ I  wanted  to work with something  I can find anywhere in the world.” For Manu mixing mud and experiencing the different colors and textures of various samples of mud is always an interesting part of the art. Manu has a deep understanding for soil and he is so patient to collect different shades from various parts of Kerala like soil in the fields, forests and shrines. Manu’ s wife Geetha and son Guruprasad whole heartedly support him in the proccessing  stages like  dries the soil in the sun screens, dilutes in water and so on.

Manu Kallikkadu  was inducted into the Limca Book of Records five times for his works. He combined the history and art in biographical collage for which he bagged his first Limca Record in 2007. In 2010 his work was identified in the category of Ink sketch and poetry. A collage of Bolly wood star Kareena Kapoor was entered in the record of the biggest collage in 2014 and the collage of legendary writer in Malayalam M T Vasudevan Nair was marked as the biggest collage in 2016. A short film named dystopia was ranked as the shortest film in 2017.

Like his work Manu creates his life by  gluing  different  elements  similar from his  collages, but  like a  free spirit   he wanders using  quintessence of the shades from the earth.

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