With the changing climate, many people have started to make changes in their life to live sustainably.
The artists’ communities in India have started to look towards eco-friendly art forms and mediums.
Rajendran Vadakkepadath from Chittur town in Palakkad, Kerala is one such artist who has been etching bold brush strokes on an uncommon canvas — dried banana leaves.
The painter and art teacher is one of the very few artists in the world who have attempted to paint on banana leaves.
Inspired by the Masai tribe of Kenya, Africa, Rajendran started using banana leaves as canvases in 2013 and has been practising to master the craft.
He recalls that it took him several rounds of trial and error initially to turn a banana leaf into a piece of art.
“There is a meticulous process involved in turning the fragile banana leaves suitable for painting. The method is a result of my experimentation,” he says.
He claims that if preserved within glass frames, a banana leaf painting can last up to a century.
He uses monochrome colours in his paintings to bring out the natural, burnt-ochre tint of dry banana leaves.
One of his most exquisite works — 'Sree Padmanabhaswamy' is painted on an 8 ft X 4.5 ft canvas.
Besides banana leaves, he also paints on palm leaves. However, his preferred medium has been the former for the past six years.
“I have been experimenting with eco-friendly art for quite a long time. I wish to inspire more people to adopt unique and sustainable art forms,” says Rajendran.