Saturday, July 16, 2011

MANOHAR DEVADOSS - One of the Famous and Great Artists and Inspiration Artists in India

























Hi Dears,
Here I post some of the impressive Articles about the great and famous artist of MANOHAR DEVADOSS's works and his life history will really impressive and very useful to improve our works and dedication in our life also...,Read it and pray it for our great artist to live peaceful in the rest of the days...Thanks a lot to all and all these article writers and website owners...Artist Anikartick,India

THE ARTIST

Manohar Devadoss

Manohar Devadoss lives in Santhome. A writer-artist, famous for his intricate line drawings of buildings in Chennai and Madurai, he has two books to his credit, “The Greenwell Years”, about his childhood days in Madurai, and “Poem to Courage”, a biographical book on his personal challenges.


Into the Darkness

Today, Manohar Devadoss can only see some of the contours at dawn and dusk. "Then I can see like through the end of a cone," Manohar Devadoss says.

by FRIEDERIKE AUGAT
Manohar Devadoss, with his wife Mahema

Manohar Devadoss, with his wife Mahema, has made more than 800 sketches and written four books despite impending blindness.

He can't see anything outside unless it is almost dark. He uses special lights called compact fluorescent lamps in his drawing room in order to see the intricate details of his work.

Because daylight is too bright for him, he draws by night with special lights called compact fluorescent lamps.

Then he bends forward over his desk, holding a pocket telescope in his hand, trying to see the lines. Of course, he also wears glasses, + 27 glasses, the strongest size in the world he specially orders from Australia. He even places a +4 glass between his glasses and his eyes. With this magnification, he can see a black and white space the size of a button. The heat of the lamps forces him to wear gloves, because the sweat could drip onto the page and turn his work into scribble. With a German pencil, he meticulously draws lines on a thin paper which is illuminated from behind.
Mahema

Manohar Devadoss, with his wife Mahema, has made more than 800 sketches and written four books despite impending blindness.

With the aid of trigonometry, 30-40 photographs to see all angles, and a photographic memory, he is able to redraw a building's structure from his mental image. When he thinks the sketch is perfect, he takes a photocopy on transparent paper and finally traces the picture. This process takes him 100 hours today, when three decades before he could do it in two hours.

He does not perceive colour, just blurred contours. Manohar, a talented artist, was confronted with impending blindness in early adulthood. Coping with progressive incurable blindness is difficult enough for anyone, but imagine if one's life work and passion depends on the ability to see. Most people in a similar situation would have cracked under pressure. But Manohar is not an ordinary person.

This process takes him 100 hours today, when three decades before he could do it in two hours.

The artist-writer and his wife Mahema live in the delightful Santhome area of Chennai. Open-minded and friendly, the 70-year old artist, as curious as I am, awaits us in his living room. With a strong, warm-hearted voice he talks enthusiastically about his passion for art and the difficulties he faces.

Manohar has created more than 800 drawings, detailed and flawless pen-and-ink sketches, depicting old buildings and rural scenes from Madurai. Moreover, he has written four books that all contain autobiographical elements and deal with the issues Manohar and Mahema address on an every day basis as people with disabilities who lead extraordinary lives as fulfilled creatives. Manohar shows me one of his favourite works. He stands up and puts his hand on my shoulder. I understand. I lead him to the shelf where his recent book "Multiple Facets of my Madurai" lies.

He asks me to open the book from the back cover. With my help, he finds the right page, showing a part of the Pudu Mandapam Hall, opposite to the Sri Meenakshi Temple. Manohar's fingers glide carefully over the page. It is a pen-and-ink drawing that he created while he was nearly blind last year. Memory alone guides him, and he shows me exactly the position of the enormous pillars that fascinates him.

His life would have continued this way, but then a woman changed everything.

But Manohar knows the joy of sight too. What makes his loss of vision more poignant is that he once had normal vision that allowed him to experience the world first hand. Manohar liked to draw, even when he was a child growing up peacefully in Madurai. "When we went to the zoo, my brother thinks I was three then.I took his pencil and drew a giraffe," says Manohar. Despite the fact that he studied chemistry, he discovered his artistic talent and especially his preference for pen-andink drawings during college.

But Manohar knows the joy of sight too. What makes his loss of vision more poignant is that he once had normal vision that allowed him to experience the world first hand. Manohar liked to draw, even when he was a child growing up peacefully in Madurai. "When we went to the zoo, my brother thinks I was three then.I took his pencil and drew a giraffe," says Manohar. Despite the fact that he studied chemistry, he discovered his artistic talent and especially his preference for pen-andink drawings during college.

Nevertheless, Manohar became the technical director at Standard Batteries in Chennai and art was a hobby. He did not begin writing books until he was 60 years old. He expresses his artistic traits in a very "dissipating" way, he says. His life would have continued this way, but then a woman changed everything. He met his future wife Mahema in his twenties, and she inspired him for the rest of his life. They wrote each other hundreds of letters. Each time Manohar enriched his post with his personal drawings, until Mahema said, "Why don't we write for the public?" This talented woman, who studied art and literature, encouraged him to focus on his special talent and supported his publishing of the sketches. Retinitis Pigmentosa brings about the next major life change.

As if impending blindness was not enough, a devastating car accident again changed the course of his life.

In the early 1960s, Manohar was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a progressive incurable degenerative eye-condition, which leads to total blindness. Manohar is forced to experience the limits of vision, but this is not a reason for him to give up his passion. As if impending blindness was not enough, a devastating car accident again changed the course of his life. In 1972, Manohar and Mahema, their daughter Suja, and his mother crashed into a lorry on the way from Chennai to Madurai. Mahema, 32, was paralysed below her shoulders and bound to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Manohar's disease became worse after the accident.

From that day onwards, the two young, talented persons with a promising future had to cope with daunting physical disabilities. Will the artist abandon his talent and own limitations? The couple's source of strength is mutual faith and support, and their sense of humour. Manohar looks at Mahema, and says, "Liking each other is important, I like her and she likes me." He pauses to smile. "Hopefully! Do you like me?" He laughs.

If love is giving unconditionally, then Manohar Devadoss provided all of it in supporting his wife in coming to terms with her altered condition. Alluding to gender inequality in Indian society, Manohar says he was the only man who visited his wife during her therapy in the rehabilitation centre, Whereas all the sick man were supported by their wives. "When a woman develops quadriplegia due to injury, her husband is very likely to simply marry another woman," he explains.

"Multiple Facets of my Madurai" was published on April 11, 2007.

Nothing, except total blindness, would stop him from drawing.

While Mahema learned how to use her right shoulder over years, Manohar Devadoss evolved a method to continue his passion. Nothing, except total blindness, would stop him from drawing. He had laser surgery to enlarge his iris, and uses special eye drops to dilate his pupils. "When you know you can draw despite your disease, it keeps you motivated" he says. "In six months it will be all different, but I won't complain if I have to stop."

Devadoss published four books that are enriched with hundreds of his drawings. His recent publication, "Multiple Facets of My Madurai" is a collaborative effort between literature and painting. With the aid of vivid and detailed drawings Manohar captures Madurai's spirit, history and traditions.

This is exemplified in his drawing of the gigantic palace Thirumalai Nayak Mahal. Observing the picture, I feel as if I am a part of this calm and vivid scene. Surrounded by mythological icons staring from the top of the enormous pillars, I feel the power that once ruled here. In this way, Manohar Devadoss invites me, who never visited this place, to feel the atmosphere of this mysterious heritage temple. "People don't see this," says Manohar, "I saw more than other people. I wanted to share and bring the awareness to people."

Manohar Devadoss' dream is to transmit his perspectives of Madurai to make people realise the importance of heritage monuments and culture. Through his personal drawings he wants to make clear that Madurai's historical architecture such as the Sri Meenakshi Temple merits more respect, and the rubbish around the sacred buildings makes the space profane.

This simple drawing reflects Manohar's attitude towards life - an endless motivation.

"The government should spend the money to keep the temples clean", he says. But this artist also uses his talent to support charity. Each year the Devadoss' create greeting cards for the public; Manohar makes a pen-and-ink drawing and Mahema writes the background information. They are printed a thousand times. They donate the proceeds of the sale to several organisations such as the Aravind Eye Hospital in Madurai. In 2005, Manohar and Mahema had an exhibition of their paintings organised by Max Mueller to support the Sankara Netralaya, an eye hospital in Chennai.

The last drawing of "Multiple facets of my Madurai" depicts the famous Yaanai Malai (Elephant Hill) near to Madurai. The sun rises slowly behind the hill and illuminates the paddy fields. This simple drawing reflects Manohar Devadoss' attitude towards life - an endless motivation. So he writes. "The breaking of dawn symbolises my hope for a new beginning rather than the end of my creative activities."Thanks a lot to the website Madurai Messenger - link is http://www.maduraimessenger.org/printed-version/2007/july/cover-story/

THE INSPIRATION

Buckingham Canal Country Raft (Watercolour ink and watercolour on paper) The Buckingham Canal, a 262-mile long water body which hugs the east coast, has a special place in my heart - my very first oil painting was a scene of the canal, and that's how I became a professional artist! In this painting, I portray a boat in an angular view for the first time, its sail billowing in the wind as it approaches Madras.



Dots of creativity



The Chepauk Palace by Manohar Devadoss

MANOHAR DEVADOSS loves historic monuments. And he tries to recapture their grandeur through his pen and ink drawings. What makes Manohar's drawing significant is that the artist is battling declining vision.

Some of the buildings that have attracted the artist's attention include the stately Chepauk Palace, the intricate carvings on the temple chariot in Madurai, a heritage home in Pasumalai, near Madurai, and the Senate House.

The drawing have, over the years, been used to design greeting cards with a short text about the building.

The sale proceeds of these cards are donated to service-minded institutions. Bulk orders of up to 2,000 cards are undertaken. Thanks a lot to HINDI -link is http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/mp/2004/11/22/stories/2004112200210300.htm

MADURAI

Its multiple facets - pen and ink drawings by Manohar Devadoss. Lovely, and so is the text accompanying the sketches:

When I was an adolescent, a small miscellaneous group of my school-mates and I, belonging to different castes, communities and faiths became very close friends. One of the boys in our close-knit group was Satagopan, hailing from an orthodox, middle class Iyengar Brahmin family. His parents were so old-fashioned that they solemnised the wedding of his sister, Jeyamma even before she completed her schooling. Unfortunately, her husband was drowned soon after in a railway accident caused by a swollen river. She was a teenager and was expecting when she became a widow. Back then in Tamil Nadu, Brahmin widows belonging to traditional families were made to suffer the harshest of punishments. Our group of friends was justifiably apprehensive. Would so young and beautiful a girl be forced to take on a widow’s mantle: shaven head, coarse off-white saree, isolation, ostracism et al? On the contrary, her parents moved away from these cruel customs, one step at a time. They shifted to another town and put her through college. She passed her bachelors’ degree examination, winning the first rank in the state. They returned to Madurai to enable her to pursue her master’s degree. At this stage, our friends and I were spending a fair share of our time in Satagopan’s house. His parents could perceive that we tacitly followed a code of not looking at our friends’ sisters with amorous eyes. They allowed Jeyamma to roam around with us, as long as Satagopan too was in the group. In those days it was not an everyday event for a comely well-dressed young woman to go out with a group of indifferently dressed somewhat unruly young men. People stared at us indelicately, be we happily ignored them. In this drawing, finished in February 1988 I have tried to recapture a scene belonging to the early 1960s.

Jeyamma went on to pursue her higher studies, remarried and recently retired as a professor in California University at Davis.

Preserving for posterity

T. Saravanan

S.S. Kavitha

“A thing of beauty is a joy for ever” -- John Keats. And so it is for artist and writer Manohar Devadoss. The rustic beauty of Temple City is a joy for ever which gets well reflected in his graphic depictions that portray the essence of Madurai.

With his presentation on ‘Potential for Tourism in Madurai' recently at the Thiagarajar College, Mr. Manohar Devadoss brought alive the city's culture and social ethos.

His nostalgic reminiscences exemplified the splendour of the ancient city. His exemplary skills in line drawings and pencil shades, done with deteriorating eye sight, lent great credibility transporting the audience to yesteryears.

He is able to see beauty, as he perceives it to be, from sculptures on temple towers to agriculture fields.

“The need of the hour is that you should have an eye for beauty, sense to appreciate it and more than that the responsibility to contribute your might to preserve it,” stressed Mr. Manohar Devadoss.

Pointing to a pictorial presentation of the sculpture of 25-headed God with 50 hands spread like lotus petals, he said that not many would have noticed this exquisite carving on the South Tower of Meenakshi Amman Temple.

“It was during 1970s, I came across this sculpture, I used binoculars to know about the intricate carving and I was stunned by the magnificence of the work, which I wished to pass on to my people,” he beamed.

He also lamented the insensitive nature of people in Pudhu Mandapam. “I could feel the dirt deposits on sculptures while being filmed for a documentary,” and immediately suggested students to involve in temple cleaning service.

Another drawing on rural beauty of countryside depicting lush blossoming Indian rushes on the bunds of water canal with banana plantations, coconut groves and shady mountains in the backdrop captured the imagination of the gathering.

“It was drawn in 1975. I felt elated to see the cascading beauty and how Madurai looked as serenely beautiful as it had during my boyhood in the early 1950s. But those fields are now hidden behind concrete structures,” he rued.

That was the period he fell victim to an incurable syndrome, Retinitis pigmentosa. He lost vision in one eye and suffered from night blindness and tunnel vision in the other.

Mr. Manohar Devadoss's graphic account of how he meticulously worked to draw the dark grey cumulous clouds gathering on the blue sky near Tirpparankundram Hill received with thunderous applause.

“By that time my vision had gone from bad to worst and I had to use plus 27 power spectacles. I have not seen the drawing in full,” he commented.

He also attributed his success to his beloved wife Mahema, who was behind his endeavours.

“One of my earliest drawings, the top angle portrayal of a steam engine earned me the name ‘Kirukkupaya' (crazy guy) from my schoolteacher but that cultivated my knowledge of looking things from different angles,” he said and egged on the students to cultivate knowledge on how to use modern technology to preserve heritage.

Showing ample evidence on city's potential for tourism, he said “dying arts can be revived to attract tourists. Beauty of peripheral areas needed more attention.”

Documentary release

Quite aptly when retired professor of history, Dr.Venkatraman said what Florence is to Michelangelo, Madurai is to Manohar Devadoss, in another function at Fatima College, students broke into a rapturous applause.

Here, the occasion marked the release of a 28-minute documentary film on the artist himself, made by Post-Graduate students of English Department of Fatima College.

The film presented Manohar Devadoss's cherished past, including his wedding clippings and Mahema's narration about the traumatic accident that left her paralysed neck down.

The film titled ‘Third Eye' began with a focus on his spectacles indicating that the film makers wanted to bring in the importance of his third eye that visualises his adolescent days in Madurai and freeze them in his striking lines. In between, students also filmed him at Setupati High School where he did his schooling, Pudumandapam, Main Hall of The American College, Mahal and elsewhere with his narration on his association with each place. .

For example, he shared how he and other 10 children joined hands to hold one pillar when he was a four-year-old child. Like any documentary, students have tried to capture his candid moments.

Before venturing into film making, students read his books and familiarised themselves with his art and writing. Next they sketched a story line before rolling down the camera for four days including a two-day shoot in Chennai. They filmed in nine CDs and edited it to 28-minutes.

The enthusiastic team underwent a week's course in shooting techniques, handling camera and fixing angles.

While the students were working on a documentary for visually challenged students, they got a chance to meet Manohar Devadoss and decided to do a documentary on him.

“By hearing the film and my voice, I am reliving my lived Madurai experiences. I cherish every moment spent in the city. Now with these moments, I gain more enriching experiences," he said, adding that "I was the first one to do about Madurai and I did it for pleasure and even now I enjoy."

"I enjoy the love, affection and recognition showered on me in my sunset days," he said shaking hands with the young film makers.

The students were friendly yet they managed to give an objective approach to the documentary.

"It is an inspiring story of love and art of giving. He registered every moment of his life in his photographic-memory from where he draws his inspiration now and then to recreate his beloved city”, they said. Thanks a lot to HINDU - The link is http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/metroplus/article939838.ece - Thanks a lot to all and all these article writers and website owners...Artist Anikartick,India

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