Pencils, charcoal, paint, newspapers, clay, or one’s own hands—the fine art category of Revels, Kalakriti, had an event dedicated to a variety of artistic mediums. With events such as Comixtrip, Collage, Achromae, Satrangi, Fantasy Faces, Paint with Clay, and Relay Art, Kalakriti presented an array of interesting competitions to the art enthusiasts in Manipal. While these events tested their skills and teamwork, the main goal was to give students a platform to express themselves through art.
Collage, held on the first day of Revels, gave participants the chance to bring out their creative side. Making use of only newspapers, scissors and glue, the five teams created collages based on the theme—The Indian Army. “The idea behind choosing the theme was to pay tribute to the bravery and valour of our soldiers. We felt that everyone could be inspired to create art from such a topic,” said Swardha Pandey, the Event Head.
The participants were judged on their creativity and how relevant the collage was to the theme. With only an hour’s time given, the teams brainstormed ideas and quickly brought them to life, using the limited resources they were provided. The collages depicted the might and devotion of the Indian Armed Forces, as one of them featured a map of India with a soldier standing beside it, ever-ready to protect the country. Another showed the tricolour, with an assortment of tanks and fighter jets arranged around the flag.
Although the turnout was a little lower than expected, the event beautifully showcased the ingenuity of the participants. The result was nothing short of astounding, as ordinary newspapers were turned into colourful pieces of art.
Charcoal, a smooth and brittle material, is forgiving yet challenging. For this reason, it is ideal for honing drawing skills. At Achromae, which took place on day one of Revels, artists used this essential sketching medium to bring to life artworks that revolved around the theme of Rising from the Ashes. The theme was inspired by the logo for Revels’19—the Phoenix—a mythical bird from Greek and Roman legends that is believed to be reborn from its ashes.
“It’s always a pleasure to see artistic minds work under one roof,” said Rituza Kalita, the Event Head. Participants set to work with complete focus and yet, the period of one hour did not seem enough to put everything they had in mind to paper. Towards the end, participants were seen dedicating most of their time to refining the smaller details. “I’ve been drawing since I was a child and it feels lovely every time I am given a challenge like this one. I was a participant the previous year, and the creativity and imagination required at this event brought me to it this year too” said Akanksha, a second-year student at MIT.
Achromae proved to be an enriching experience for the participants as they were free to express anything, albeit without the use of colours. Along with putting their sketching skills to the test, they gave free rein to their imagination and creativity at this successful event.
Play with Clay
Play with Clay was organised on the second day of Revels for those that enjoy sculpting and modelling with clay. The enthusiastic participants were required to come up with creative two-dimensional or three-dimensional structures based on the theme of patriotism.
The contestants were each given three containers of clay of different colours along with a few tools to aid them in their work. They were given an hour to come up with a piece and were not allowed to use their phones for references. Towards the end, participants were given black spray paint for touch-ups, and several of them used this opportunity to enhance their work.
“It was a good event. The topic was good, and it was challenging. It actually forces us to think more creatively. The materials provided were not that great which made it challenging”, said Gourab Chakraborti, an MIT student who participated in the event. A number of innovative and beautiful pieces emerged at the end of the event. It gave craft enthusiasts a chance to apply their creative skills and enabled them to think out of the box. Play with Clay proved to be a unique opportunity for students to express themselves in a different way through modelling and sculpting.
Participants trooped to IC on the second day of Revels to take part in Kalakriti’s face-painting event. With the theme being Carnival, participants fully embraced the spirit of the fest as they coloured their partners’ faces.
Although the event saw a lower turnout than expected, the six teams showcased intricate designs that drew acclaim from the audience gathered around the IC stairs. Volunteers continuously helped the participants with water and paints. The event was quite enjoyable, despite the fact that one needs to sit as still as possible for an hour while being painted on. An interesting feature of the event was seeing the teammates communicate with each other using hand signals, as they could not talk with paint on their faces.
The participants were judged based on their originality, creativity, and the way they used colours to interpret the theme. “I liked the face paintings because they were very creative. Colours can mean a lot and how the participants depicted that was amazing,“ remarked Ms Adithi Shastry, from the Department of Humanities and Management, who was a judge at the event. With a beautiful display of colour and artistic prowess, Fantasy Faces engaged the attention of the participants and the audience alike, providing students with an entertaining and welcome break from the monotony of academics.
Diwali came early to Manipal, as the hallways of the Chemical Department were bedecked with vibrant and intricate rangolis on day three of Revels. Participants celebrated this popular traditional artform at Satrangi, as they competed to create the best possible floor art reflecting the given theme.
There were eight teams in the event, with each team consisting of two members. Each of these teams had to use their imagination and skill to put together a rangoli, using the seven colours of the rainbow. The theme of the event required the rangolis to be based on a particular social issue. Most teams depicted the importance of the girl child in their art, while few of them also showcased the abolishment of section 377.
Although, an ancient tradition, rangoli has evolved tremendously over the years becoming more elaborate and detailed in its design. Nevertheless, it still retains its original character as an art form that is created simply by using some colours and one’s own two hands. “I have always loved doing traditional artwork. My sister and I always look for such opportunities. We were glad to be here,” said Yeshaswini, a third-year MIT student. Satrangi succeeded in evoking a feeling of joy in the participants who created art that was fulfilling, as well as in the viewers who witnessed these beautiful masterpieces.
Relay Art by Kalakriti which took place on day three of Revels was an artist’s playground. An interesting twist on a regular painting competition, it was a relay-style painting contest in which teams of two were required to work together to recreate a painting.
The teams were shown an image of a simple landscape for five minutes. They then had to recreate the image from memory. The two artists in each team took turns painting for fifteen minutes each, before switching places. While one person was painting, the other could not help them physically, only give suggestions and hints. Halfway through the event, the landscape was shown again for two minutes so that the participants could get an idea of where their piece was supposed to go. Among the seven participating teams, no two landscapes looked alike, despite originating from the same picture. The toughest part of this contest was having to comply with your partner’s art style and finding harmony in the two styles to recreate the landscape successfully.
“It was enjoyable and reminded me of my childhood. I haven’t been able to do much painting after coming here. It is a very interesting concept, to have an art competition in a relay-style and it helps you build trust and a better bond with your friend,” said Priyanka Ghosh and Palak Soni, two of the participants at the event. At the end of the hour, while turning in their work, all the participants were complimenting each other’s creations. This event truly brought out the aspect of individuality in the art of painting as it was evident that every piece was beautiful in its own way.
Comixtrip, which took place on day four of Revels, provided an opportunity for participants to step into the world of comic-making. An interesting prompt—Nerds and Pyjamas—was given to them, which resulted in a myriad of funny and creative interpretations. However, participants struggled to beat the clock as they had just an hour to put down their ideas on paper.
The scratching of pencil on paper was the only sound in the room for the most part of the hour, as participants concentrated on sketching their comic panels. The theme was interpreted in many different ways, with the participants playing around with the stereotypical association of nerds with comics. One of the comic strips drawn had an interesting twist, with pyjamas themselves being the main character.
The comics were judged on their originality, creativity and how the theme was interpreted. They also had to incorporate humour to make the comics as captivating as possible. While it was a competition, the event also allowed students to enjoy themselves by simply indulging in an afternoon spent sketching cartoons. “Comixtrip is a fun event where students get to show their creative side through comic panels. For art events, participation is generally a little lesser. However, we were happy to see a greater turnout than expected,” noted Asmita Hajra, the Event Head.
“The event was a lot of fun. I have always wanted to draw cartoons, but end up only doodling in class. This provided me with an outlet where I could draw for a reason,” said Tahar Umar, an outstation participant from NLU Delhi. A challenging, yet fun event, Comixtrip perfectly complemented the theme of Revels ’19, as participants got to tell enthralling stories through the art of comics, much like Stan Lee, the inspiration behind this year’s theme.
Image Credits: The Photography and Videography Team, Revels’19