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Dhanaraj Keezhara
Dhanaraj Keezhara

Dhanaraj Keezhara

HOD- Art and Visual Media department

Christel House India, Bangalore

More about myself
I think, I should elaborated a bit about my thoughts which I coloured in my canvases: A myriad of ecosystems held in a delicate balance, sustaining the cultural imaginings of communities from time immemorial, threatened with destruction; urban dissonance and violence and an increasing human estrangement from nature- these are some concerns that have given impetus to my work through the years. My vivid canvases continue to be melancholy yet arresting reminders of progressive human encroachments on the natural and a deep sense of loss of more consonant ways of living. Painting is at once a reaction and a response to urban life around mine, organizing and reflecting on the incredible chaos one is constantly bombarded with as well as a concretization of hope and possibility. Different media excite , allowing for different engagements and new modes of ex-pression. presented many successful solo and group exhibitions .
Couple of years from now
I am still learning, from my surroundings, classrooms, children and indeed a lot from nature. So my artistic style and expressions are changing also I am doing lots of experiments with the old and new conventions of art practices which accommodates new domains digital imagining as well. I can understand these factors. Hence, couple of years from now I can present a more powerful artworks which will intermediate different techniques and technology of art and imaginations. This, I am sure that will extend the possibilities of having a platform where one can talk about the society/communicate with the new generation in a quite different manner. I am already started this project while learning new image making technologies.
Important lesson learned
There are many ways in which one can express one’s own ideas, politics and dissents. My life, journey and past experiences that taught me lessons of how could one engage a creative dialog with society and nature. There are many ways to express these experience and thought where I have chosen painting as one of the powerful medium to communicate my own silent quarrels, social concerns and ideas. I was part of some radical movements, though they had their own significance in order to create many sensibilities at that time, never achieved the embedded goals. However, what I learnt that it was not something that of the failure of an individual or movements, rather the individual and his concerns are still prominent and being expressing through different platforms and mediums. Each individual learn lessons continuously and differently and whatever I learnt is that you can create certain impact on others while expressing it effectively.
Qualities needed to become a successful leader
Open mindedness, tolerance, personal virtues and ethics along with the notion of certain universal morals. It is also important to having a nature-friendly mind and mentality
My role model
Gandhian philosophy influenced me lot .my thoughts immediately tern to Gandhiji’s principles and philosophy of life.
My strongest skill
I am happy to say that I am an artist, photographer and an art teacher. These experiences of mine provided some skills through my engagements with these domains. If you ask me the professionals, I would say that I can draw and express the minute gestures and emotions of the people and nature through my sketches and colours. I learned these skills not from any academic or professional conventions rather it is through my observations of common people and their ways of enagagments with society and nature that helped to chisel out these skills.
Thoughts on Education system of our country
Education, as a social capital, attached to many meanings, not only something associated with the development of the citizen and knowledge sharing but also related to status symbol and social distinctions. Hence, there are many substantial layers of education system existing in India. These systems and the educational policies are not adequately try to interrogate the marginalized sections- economically and socially- of the society and their worldviews. The pedagogical practices and classroom exercises are sometimes not completely bound with the inclusions of these worldviews, thoughts and life experience of the deprived groups-students. This division create an unfriendly relationship between the educational systems/practices and the pupil from the underprivileged sections. I do not teach the students “ Art ’ I belive teaching them to observe, to reflect and create . Artistic expression allows for a tapping and channelizing of an individual’s inner creative energies.
Ensuring success
Firstly, my works through painting , sketches and photographs has been a continuous engagement with art-practice as emerging from the negotiations of people with their society and environment. Fired by a belief in art's ability to heal and renew a world torn asunder by violence and strife, i was continuously involved myself in community initiatives and education. Secondly, the kind of art education and pedagogical practices that I am trying to develop through the student participation will defiantly provide new inspirations and methodology which will comprehensively address many social and political issues of concern.
Initiative to develop a country
Professionals can influence the policies of the country through their works whether it is related to art or any other professions. If you can create a pause of thoughts that would consider a valuable point in order to open up certain unnoticed things of the society. Each professionals should have an idea about the social reality that eventually reflects in their works and therefore the development of the country
My family background
I was born in a small agricultural community of Kerala, India in 1969 and grew up largely influenced by philanthropic father’s Gandhian lifestyle. The atmosphere of simplicity and charity of my childhood have probably been basis for my subsequent preoccupation with social and educational issues.At present I live in Bangalore with my wife Nisha, and two kids , son Sidhartha and daughter Tejaswini . working HOD-Art and Visual media department at Christel House India, Bangalore.
Brief description about me
I was born in a small agricultural community of Kerala, India in 1969 and grew up largely influenced by philanthropic father’s Gandhian lifestyle. The atmosphere of simplicity and charity of my childhood have probably been basis for my subsequent preoccupation with social and educational issues. From my student days at the College of Fine Arts, Kannur, through ten year stint at various NGO’s and mine present work as HOD of Art and Visual media studies at CHRISTEL HOUSE INDIA, Bangalore art has always been a means of connecting with people and sharing my emotions and experiences. I have lived and worked with several indigenous communities including the tribal communities of Wayanad in Kerala, the Lambani community of Bidar, bordering Karnataka and Maharashtra as well as the Narmada valley community during the Narmada Bachao Andolan (Save Narmada Campaign). These experiences and dialogues continue to enrich my work.
Influenced by
Folk artists/ community performers who are usually unrecognized, they live with their performance and die with it without any wide recognition. Their dedication, creative knowledge based on culture and nature, outstanding and courageous performances, colorful blends, gestures and postures , everything influenced me and my creative expressions.
Degree that I recommend
My professional qualifications are very minimal! I, myself consider as a person of self-taught. It is my personal experiences and critical perspectives based on social issues are my valuable degrees! This helped me to develop a unique style of artistic creativity. However, any academic degree which will enable you to focus on our everyday life can consider one of the most valuable things.
Important decision
"Engage in dialogue with society through creatively".
My achievements
There are many! But what I value most is my students achievements in different domains, their outstanding performances in many aspects of academics as well as life. Most of them are coming from different sections of the society, basically from deprived groups, however, what I felt that my initiatives along with my colleagues and institutions help them to present their creative thoughts; help them to see the world differently without any inferiority. My student’s films and media work has been widely appreciated and our school team has attended the Adobe Youth Voices Summit at San Francisco USA for 3 years continuously. I have been the lead educator for AYV for 3 years. On the other hand, it is my art practices which helped me to think art education differently. As an artist I have successfully conducted several art exhibitions, done many alternative wall paintings for NGOs’ academic institutions and reading rooms/clubs of Kerala and Karnataka, which fulfill my artistic sensibilities.
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