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Earth Beneath - Sebastian Varghese and Leon K.L
by Gallery Threshold
Location: Gallery Threshold
Date: 28 Jan - 18 Feb 2009

Sebastian's water colours explore an intricate world of flora, mostly the pernicious weeds and even the carnivorous plants. His works are essentially a series of paintings exploring the hyacinth covered water-masses in the peripheries of a growing urban landscape.

Sebastian, after completing BFA (Painting) from Government College of Fine Arts, Thiruvananthapuram in 1994, moved to Dallas, Texas, USA. Currently he lives between Dallas and Kochi.

Leon's soft pastels also depict diverse forms of plant life, almost emulating the microscopically detailed botanical studies. Certain lasciviousness is present in his imagery consisting life forms emerging out of earth, mainly those of the underground tubers and roots.

Leon, hailing from Thrissur district, completed BFA (Painting) from Govt. College of Fine Arts, Thiruvananthapuram in 2001 and MFA (Painting) from University of Hyderabad in 2003.

The incessant time transforms dead trees under the soil to coal and diamonds, memories into myths and stories into legends. Remnants and relics hidden underneath, breathe-in and breathe-out these memories. The earth emanates a certain calmness and dispassion about all these transformations. The planet is still balancing and sustaining after all the abuses we have inflicted upon it. Yet a new sun shows up every morning. Soil darkens and becomes fertile again.

A 'new earth' is born every day. We muddle through fresh realities continuously. Transience is a constant reality of the phenomena. Image maker is trying to explore and reflect both the anxiety and the tranquility it creates. The process ultimately is a gesture of gratitude to the planet and the all encompassing phenomena which we all are a part of.
--Sebastian Varghese
The Earth Beneath

New births and the unfolding of life on earth is always a point of inspiration and subtle excitement. We have the innate ability for self preservation and the earth being supportive of us. My works are the result of travels and observances as I try to trace back my own roots through the process of slow working. My new series is done in soft pastels that depicts different vegetations almost like botanical studies. I enjoy the detailed and laborious work on the micro details of immediate surroundings.

My observations of thriving life around give me the hope and energy for a forward momentum. I am interested in keeping a distance from mere sentimentality, and yet focusing on the underlying connectedness and intimacy we have to nature. My emphasis is on hope in the midst of all the subliminal messages of hopelessness; something that is consistent with inner growth and desire, which could culminate in a more nuanced understanding of my own deeper self and its oneness with the rest of it all.

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