Disabled artists come together for ‘I’am Possible Art’ exhibition in Coonoor
HeART Beat Foundation in Chennai, ever since its beginning has ensured that talented people with disabilities gets the right platform to showcase their skills. They have conducted exhibitions and shows in various parts of India to promote artists with disabilities. Their latest exhibition was held at Coonoor in the hill town of Nilgiris. The three-day event I'am Possible Art brought together six disabled artists.
Founded by VS Ramana and his wife Jayashree Ramana in 2014, HeART Beat is one of the few organizations that work towards exclusively empowering disabled artists. Apart from the huge crowd that came to witness the exhibition, support of the prestigious Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (BVB) as co-host made the event a successful one.
Since it is the vacation season, there were many youngsters and students who were visiting the hill station Coonoor. So we had a big audience turn out. We had some friends at Coonoor who initiated for 'I'am Possible Art'. They suggested us to hold an exhibition there because Nilgiris has always been a hub for art and culture. BVB supported us throughout the event. It is always good to have a local presence, especially support of an institution like BVB-VS Ramana, Co-Founder, HeART Beat Foundation
'I'am Possible Art' was inaugurated by MR Srinivasan, a Padma Vibhushan awardee and former chairman of Atomic Energy Commission. Mukesh Munim, photographer and traveller was the Guest of Honour.
Ramana says that all the artists whose works were exhibited had beaten many odds to follow their dreams and passions.
One of the artists R Udayakumar paints with only with his right thumb and right index finger. The rest of his body is paralysed. He has been inspired by the works of artists like MF Hussain, Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso. Udayakumar paints beautifully on acrylic.
S Anand, another artist, uses pallet knives to create beautiful landscapes on different mediums. Anand, who has congenital arterio-venous malformation, has occasional seizures and breathing issues. But his physical problems have not stopped him from creating beautiful art works.
Each artist has a unique tale of determination and will-power that is inspiring. Over 100 people came to witness the art show.
"These disabled artists have conquered their disabilities through mind power. When people look at their works, they are awe-struck and just cannot believe that a disabled artist can do so much. The sales were good and we had ample support too. It was inspiring to see wheelchair users also visit the event. The show was a grand success and we are going to come back to Coonoor every year for this show, says Ramana.
CV Surendran, the well known ball pen artist from Kerala with spinal muscular atrophy, sold many of his works as well.
"Eight of my works were exhibited at the event. Even though I could not go there personally, I'am glad that my works were showcased at such a big platform. I have been a part of HeART beat Foundation for a while and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. I hope to participate in this exhibition next year as well, said Surendran.
Art has no limitations. For these disabled artists, art offers them a platform to experiment with their skills and reach for the stars.