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Connell’s determination shines through at art fest
 Story Dated: Sunday, December 23, 2012 15:12 hrs IST 
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Kochi: Australian artist Daniel Connell is back with a vengeance, but with his favourite weapon a few sticks of charcoal.

In a creative reply to the miscreants who defaced the 'portrait of Achu', he created and later redid, Daniel is determined to sketch the faces of many more common people of Fort Kochi.

After Achu, the small-time tea vendor, it is the turn of his assistant Gopi to share a similar stardom. The list does not end there.

Going by the resilient efforts of Connell, there are portraits of quite a few fishermen that would follow: of Benjamin, Aneef, Peter, Joseph, Saifu, Verghese, Felix.

The Adelaide-based artist is etching the unknown faces of the tropical coastal belt first in his heart and later on the canvas.

Also, he has a reason to enlarge the canvas. Connell first made the portrait of middle-aged N P Ashraf, fondly called Achu by his customers, on the wall of Cochin Carnival Office, next to his shop.

On Tuesday, unidentified persons defaced the portrait. Connell, without losing heart,recreated the work last evening.

Now, Connell has chosen K G Gopi, who has been working as the help of Achu for the last 27 years at the tea-shack, as his model. Then he set eyes on the fishermen who toil hard not just to satiate their hunger, but that of others too.

"It is a small tribute to them. I am trying to bring them to the public gaze," says Connell, who the fishermen treat already as one among them.
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