It is that time of the year when everybody in the Kodambakkam neighbourhood looks forward to stopping by CA John’s home decked up with thematic cribs. While sustainability and eco-friendly might be the buzzwords of recent times, John has been using them in his creations from his childhood.
The 62-year-old is an art enthusiast whose works involve only recycled and waste materials. Torn shuttlecocks, broken egg shells, expired tablet sheets, molten wax and coir — you will find them all in his art. He recently won the Art Maestro Award 2018 in an international art exhibition held at Kochi for his spider web model. The web was stitched with thin transparent threads from a courier cover using iron strings and the spider was made from rubber.
Originally from Thrissur, he has been living in Chennai for 28 years now with his wife and two daughters. John makes thematic models for most festivals. His eco-friendly and hand-made cracker-like-structures for Deepavali found an audience. “Despite the risks involved in working with broken glass or rough materials, I do it because it gives me a kick. As a child, I always wanted my artworks to stand out. My costumes for fancy dress competitions were popular and ahead of the time.
I once made a crib-like set up on our bed and my parents had to sleep down due to lack of space. They’ve been very supportive throughout,” said John while flipping through pages of his album containing photographs of his exhibited works from childhood till date.
What started out as a hobby has now become a ritual every Christmas. He has made 11 cribs since 2006, of which the hummingbird nest and houseboat have been the toughest to make. The theme for 2018 is ‘The Manger’. “I completed the project in 16 days. My creativity peaks when everybody is asleep. Ideas keep flowing in and out throughout the day. However, with the expectations of church people and friends, maintaining consistency is challenging,” said John, who works in a private company.....Read more
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