Motifs of fauna inspired by temple architecture make an look in this series of pen sketches by architect and artist, Matthew Samuel
Gandaberunda, the legendary two-headed fowl, typically seen as one of Lord Vishnu’s many incarnations in Hindu mythology, lies on a round board of thick brown paper intricately etched out utilizing a black pen.
At first look, a satisfying community of patterns is all one sees. However the motif additionally opens doorways to historical past; particularly that of the temple buildings seen in Tamil Nadu. The gandaberunda is one of the numerous creatures that feature in artist and architect Mathew Samuel’s Divine Fauna, a 12-part series of sketches inspired from temple reliefs, manifested as motifs on round boards.
Hailing from Coimbatore and based mostly out of Chennai, Matthew’s curiosity in temple architecture is the start line of this private challenge that got here to fruition in the course of the pandemic-led lockdowns.
After finishing his Civil Engineering diploma, Mathew moved on to work as an architect with Chennai-based heritage conservation agency, Conservation Mainstream for a yr. “We occurred to take up temple tasks that lie near the Cauvery flood planes. Since we have been accompanied by historians and individuals who learn buildings to carry out layers of historical past, I acquired to know extra about them,” says Mathew. His curiosity grew, particularly in Tamil mythology and the Dravidian type of architecture. It was then that he noticed that all through historical past, there have been “additions and subtractions” and varied variations of the identical parts.
“For instance, the peacock, is represented in a sure method in the Chola dynasty, and extra vibrantly by the Nayakas. And, it has been in fixed change,” says Matthew.
Quite a bit of statement and consequent analysis went into this challenge, provides Matthew. “The whole architectural factor of a temple turned a big guide for me to review,” he says. His first heritage conservation challenge was of a temple in Udayarpalayam, a small village in Jayankondam taluk, close to Gangaikondacholapuram. “It dates again to the Cholas however loads of the next dynasties did their additions to it. That is the place it began.”
One other construction that inspired him lies in Mamallapuram. “We all know there are loads of caves in Mahabalipuram, however there’s this one specific cave referred to as Mahishasura Mardini cave. The representations inside this one are out of the world,” says Matthew.
The horizontal bands of etchings displaying round parts that run alongside temple buildings, helped him pin down a round format to painting the motifs in.
“The primary work was on a fowl that’s not visually represented a lot wherever — andril paravai. It has been talked about in loads of Tamil literature; in reality even modern Tamil film songs point out the fowl. Andril paravai is noticed in pairs, and if one dies, the opposite dies too,” explains Matthew. These birds seem, albeit subtly, in many temple buildings.
“There are only a few temple work, particularly in the pre-Pallava period, that present the andril paravai. Within the caves of Chittinavasal, in Pudukkottai, the motif could be seen on ceilings. In just a few temples, it may be seen as an ornamentation across the deity or a sculptural factor.” Matthew wished to present this motif a kind.
After andril paravai, he moved on to parrots, peacocks and animals just like the lion. Then, he began getting recommendations from others, of legendary creatures that he didn’t know of, just like the gandaberunda.
“Gandaberunda is definitely the royal insignia of the Mysore royal household. After some analysis, I came upon that the Maratha kings of Tanjore have represented gandaberunda in a distinct format. In Mysore royalty, it’s extra of a symmetrical one and in the Tanjore method of doing it, the shape is just not a lot,” says Matthew, who’s presently pursuing Heritage Administration at Ahmedabad College. This side of historical past, which affords a number of narratives (spanning time durations), of the identical concept is what feeds Matthew’s curiosity. “Finally, I owe all of it to the temples,” he concludes.
To see his work go to Matthew’s Instagram web page: @itsallaboutcoffeeshops