Published: 02nd October 2019
These young artists carved the entire Jallianwala Bagh massacre using pencil lead. Check it out!
Savithru M, Prashaanth DR and Vijayathithyan BB created miniature pencil carving that represents the Jallianwala Bagh incident using 111 sculptures!
I myself haven't had the chance to visit the Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, the place where the infamous Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, which inflicted a deep and unforgettable wound on India as a nation, took place, but I vividly remember my friend telling me about her experience of visiting it. 'The place continues to haunt me, especially the walls with blood marks,' she recalled with a shudder. We discussed it for a day and now, that conversation feels like a long-lost memory. But here are three friends - Prashaanth DR, Savithru M and Vijayathithyan BB - who recreated the scene to commemorate the massacre that took place on 13 April 1919 when Acting Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer ordered troops of the British Indian Army to fire their rifles into a crowd of unarmed civilians in Jallianwala Bagh, killing at least 400. They sculpted the whole scene on numerous 3mm pencil tips! 2019 marks 100 years of the incident and what better time than now to carry out this enormous project with a ‘difference’.
And what exactly is that difference? This amazing art piece had 111 sculptures including 25 soldiers, 75 people and 11 props including movable tankers! But why did the trio choose this particular scene, we wonder. "Most of us learn about the incident in history class and forget about it the next day. But we wanted it to be etched in the minds of every Indian so that we do not forget the sacrifices of the people in the pre-independence era," explains Savithru M.
Little wonders: The carvings are made in 3mm pencil tip (Pic: Prashaanth DR)
After the trio informed me that you need a magnifying lens to view the minute detailing of this amazing artwork, I was curious about the difficulties they must have faced in creating it. "Of course it took a lot of hard work! We started making the sculptures in the month of July. We knew each other's specialisation and hence we separated the work accordingly. Savithru was good in anatomy so he made the soldiers and I helped him. Vijay was good in making movable objects," says Prashaanth, a 24-year-old BE (Electronics and Communications) graduate.
In remembrance: A closer view of the sculptures (Pic: Prashaanth DR)
But when I was engrossed in conversation with these friends, I noticed that these three were not from the same place as they never mentioned any college memories they had. This made me question how they met in the first place!. "We met through art. Art brought us together. We saw each other's work through social media and we decided to set up our own studio," said 25-year-old Savithru M, a native of Thanjavur.
What advice do they have for artists who are trying to want to do something different and unique? "You have to keep challenging yourself by learning new skills. If you just go for a workshop and then immediately start your business, you are a businessman and not an artist. Only when you keep learning new techniques and do it passionately you can be called an artist," concludes Prashaanth.