Kozhikode: The myriad hues of monsoon inspired Thrissur-born, Bengaluru-settled art promoter Roshan George to organise an exhibition of five photojournalists from Kerala.
Ironically, the exhibition at his Artville Cafe titled 'Come Rain or Shine' was hit by monsoon fury that wreaked havoc in Kerala claiming more than 400 lives and triggering the worst flood in a decade.
George understood the gravity of the situation in Kerala when one of the photojournalists, Russell Shahul, informed him that he might not be able to attend the show .
The rest of the photo journalists – Dominic Sebastian, K S Praveen Kumar, Ramesh Kottooli, and Venu Gopal – too cited similar issues.
“We realised that it was time to do something for the state reeling under flood and landslides. Since the show was planned extensively, it was not a wise decision to call it off. We decided to avoid the gallery commission and donate it to the Chief Minister's Distress Relief Fund. The photojournalists also decided to follow suit and they decided to donate entire money collected to the CMDRF,” George informed. The exhibition, which began on August 17, was slated to end on August 31 but was extended to September 16.
The support for the flood relief did not end there.
George made an appeal on his Facebook page Artville and Some volunteers from Bengaluru came forward to help flood-hit people.
When they went to Wayanad to deliver a few essential material for the flood-affected people, they realized that some houses there had to be painted again.
Five houses of the tribals were painted in less than two days. More than painting the houses, the idea was to help them start life afresh, George said.
George always nourished a dream of delivering art works at lower price through his website www.artorickshaw.org.
“The idea was to make art affordable for people who resisted from buying it due to high price. We planned to sell 4x4 inch art works starting from Rs 500. Nearly 400 such works were collected”.
“Was planning to launch www.artorickshaw.org after collecting 800 original paintings or hand works,” he said.
Post flood, he mooted an idea to give away the paintings to those who donated at least Rs 500 to the CMDRF.
“Those who produced a receipt of Rs 500 donated to the CMDRF were gifted with a painting. Works from 58 artists were distributed and we channelised Rs 2.5 lakh through the initiative,” George said.
Artville will also give away original artwork to those sending the details of the transaction to firstname.lastname@example.org. Depending on the amount donated, the size of the artwork would also be bigger, he informed.