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Design Student, Sneha Suresh, Turned Her Granny’s Love For Tamil Proverbs Into An Art Project

  • IWB Post
  •  December 7, 2017

Isn’t it beautiful to see how new ideas blend marvelously with history and create something that binds the beauty of both the eras?

Sneha Suresh, a design student from Srishti Institute of Art, Design, and Technology, Bangalore, has sprinkled some magic on old Tamil proverbs into creative letterforms.

In the final year of her college, Sneha is working on the topic Inaippu, which means fusion in Tamil, for her pre-thesis project.

Proverb Ennai kudathai suttrum, erambu pola which means ants accumulating around a pot of oil. Here, The image shows the top view of a pot and ants around it.

Proverb Ennai Kudathai Suttrum, Erambu Pola which means ants accumulating around a pot of oil. Here, The image shows the top view of a pot and ants around it.

Explaining her vision behind the project, Sneha says, “The project is based on the amalgamation of the oral tradition and visual culture, metaphors, material, material culture and symbols of Tamil Nadu. I’ve tried to bring out the real and the imagined mentioned in the oral tradition of proverbs through visuals.”

Sneha found her inspiration in the historic architecture of temples and colourful and vibrant costumes of Tamil Nadu. She states, “From the exquisite gopurams (gatehouse tower) of temples to intricate motifs in a Kanchipuram saree, every visible motif and colour palette that embodies the Tamil cultural heritage has invariably found its way into Inaippu.”

Sneha couldn’t stay much in touch with her roots as she had lived in Goa while growing up and had no formal knowledge of the Tamil language. She grew up with both her grandmothers, where the proverbs spoken by them were translated to her by her mother. Sneha recalls, “Growing up in an unlikely household where both of my grandmothers live together, every instance elicited an incidental proverb that went on to take root in my psyche and subsequently in my project. As of translation, my mother – Rajani Suresh took a significant measure out of her busy work life to help me out.”

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Check out her artwork here:

Photo Source: The Better India. The image depicts the proverb "Idli Thirupaadhe" which means you can flip a dosa but not an idli, so don’t distort the truth. Here, he image appears to resemble a man sitting with his legs cross-legged and perhaps weaving stories around himself and distorting the truth.

The image depicts the proverb “Idli Thirupaadhe” which means you can flip a dosa but not an idli, so don’t distort the truth. Here, the image appears to resemble a man sitting with his legs cross-legged and perhaps weaving stories around himself and distorting the truth.

Photo Source: The Better India. The image depicts the proverb “Yaanai Chattiyilum Kuzhiyilum Oondoo,” which means, when an elephant gets lost, you must also look for it in the unlikeliest of places, even a pot. Here, she has used two letterforms, one that looks like a pot and the other that looks like an elephant’s face. At one point, the letterforms have been combined to depict the elephant hiding inside a pot.

The image depicts the proverb “Yaanai Chattiyilum Kuzhiyilum Oondoo,” which means, when an elephant gets lost, you must also look for it in the unlikeliest of places, even a pot. Here, she has used two letterforms, one that looks like a pot and the other that looks like an elephant’s face. At one point, the letterforms have been combined to depict the elephant hiding inside a pot.

Photo Source: The Better India

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