Published: 26th February 2020
At 10, this boy drew a picture inspired by his mother. Months after her death, it made it to Kerala' Gender Budget Cover
Anujath Sindhu Vinaylal is a 14-year-old artist from Thrissur. He tells us why his painting on mothers has been receiving praise from all around the world
There is no one way in which you could describe Anujath Sindhu Vinaylal's painting. Art connoisseurs may find it amateurish but to be fair to the artist, he was 10 when he drew it and keeping this in mind, the work is commendable. There is no single scene here, rather a myriad of different women, precisely 19 of them. Now, their faces, professions and attires may be different, however, they're all mothers who toil from the crack of dawn until late at night, ensuring that everything goes smooth in their house.
There is a reason why we're talking about this four-year-old piece of art now. The painting, titled 'Ente Ammayum Ayalvakkathe Ammamaarum', which translates to 'My Mother and the Mothers in my Neighbourhood', was the cover of Kerala's Gender Budget 2020. Since then, the acrylic painting and its painter have been receiving praise from around the world. The women here are devoid of any glamour. Instead, they are straight out of real life. For instance, you would see women cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, feeding hens, shooing away crows, doing the dishes, braiding a child's hair — almost everything that you would see a woman do in a patriarchal Kerala household.
Ente ammayum ayalvakkathe ammamaarum
"I was quite happy to know this. This was almost unexpected," says Anujath, who is now 14. "More than the fame, I was happy to know that his work was the voice to a lot of homemakers around us. This makes me proud," says Anujath's father Vinaylal. Undoubtedly, Anujath's muse was his mother Sindhu and a lot of other women that he saw in his neighbourhood. "I have been seeing this every day since my childhood. So, I thought it would be interesting to create a painting out of it," says Anujath. "My mother really loved the painting when I drew it," he recalls. Sindhu is not around today to see millions showering her son with adoration. She sadly passed away three months ago, in November 2019, due to a cardiac arrest.
"My parents always encouraged me to draw. I have been participating in painting competitions all through my childhood. I stopped participating for a while, but now, I've taken to drawing more seriously," says Anujath, who is a student of Devamatha CMI Public School, Thrissur. He is currently working on a series titled 'My Goats, Their Lives'. "I do not have a fixed schedule to draw. However, I make it a point to draw on Sundays and other holidays. I mostly don't have much to study then," he says.
Anujath is all set to host an exhibition series in different cities across Kerala. "We want more young people to take up art seriously. I really hope that Anujath gets to inspire them," says Vinaylal. The exhibition will begin in April 2020.