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Man-animal conflict confrontation gets noted at Kochi Biennale


Kochi, March 16
An emotive artistic work that has an underlying reference to violence stemming from man-animal confrontations, exemplified by the brutal killing of a pregnant elephant by feeding it with explosive-laden pineapple, is getting noticed at the Kochi Muziris Biennale.

The tusker met with a horrific death at Ambalappara in Kerala's Palakkad district on May 27, 2020, after eating the fruit filled with country-made crackers which exploded in its mouth.

The blast was so powerful that the poor animal ran around the village in searing pain, unable to eat for days.

Finally, it entered a river and stood there with its trunk and mouth immersed in water till it breathed its last two days later.

Shikh Sabbir Alam, a contemporary artist from Bangladesh, has now recreated this incident, which received worldwide attention.

Shikh Sabbir has put up a total of six acrylic paintings on display at the Biennale, including the works about the Garden; Magic House 1,2,3; Elephants and Fruit; and White Rabbit.

The creations which showcase the flora and fauna from tortoises to elephants and fruits resemble much like a dream. At the same time, it is mystical as well.

"My pictures resemble the vision that slowly materialiaes before you when you open your eyes after a long sleep. The attempt is to guide viewers through the display of pictures using pastel colours to experience the wonders being depicted on the canvas. The colour of a flower or a fruit is enough to inspire original creations," said Alam.

Nature and life are the main elements reflected in Alam's creations for the Kochi Biennale.