Join The Race
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Despite his commitments, artist Kudalayya Hiremath never fails to attend the annual Yatra and bull race in his village Benadi, in the Belgaum district of Karnataka. Hiremath remembers the days of bull racing as a riot of colours, a week of fun and frolic, street food, games and toys. "I would eagerly wait for the bull races and yatra every year. It was the only time of the year when we could go around playing pranks, munching on the mouthwatering bhel and cheering for the race without being scolded at home for staying out late in the night," recalls Hiremath who now visits his village to relive his childhood memories and capture the race on canvas. "It is also a time of togetherness and meeting up with old friends," he adds.
In his series, titled Race' which is on display in the city, the traditional bull of Maharashtra which can predict the future is featured. "It is an old practice of spreading haldi kumkum on the auspicious bull. I have made an effort to give it a divine effect by blurring the vermilion on its head," explains Hiremath. The series was earlier exhibited in Bengaluru.
Hiremath's works have a water-colour base. "Water colours bring out the basics of a painting on canvas," he feels. "I love recreating traditional cultures and rural settings on canvas with a water colour base," he adds. Hiremath quit his job seven years back to continue as a full-time artist. "I began painting when I was a child. It has been over a decade that I started it all over again after a break to run a business," he says.
Hiremath's professional tryst with colours began as a series of landscapes, inspired by several picturesque villages down south. "I later travelled to Bhutan, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram to capture their culture on canvas. The north-eastern constructions are so different from the structures in the southern part of India," he says. Hiremath later travelled to remote villages with a group of artists from around the country. "It is very important to catch a glimpse of the subject before an artist paints," he says.
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