Jacob Jebaraj

Jacob Jebaraj

Jacob graduated with a master degree in Painting from the Government College of Fine Arts in 2001. He initiated his works in a figurative mode with strong narrative element underpinning it. He recounts those initial days after graduation, saying, “everybody here had some story to tell about their works, Douglas spoke about Oscar Wilde, and Thambi uncle [Nandagopal] gave mythological accounts of his sculptures, so I had to think of some stories and so started working with biblical themes, which I could remember from my childhood days narrated to me by my grandparents”. His favourite motif was the fish, a form ubiquitous in Christian symbolism as well of the coast of Bay of Bengal where he resides. These were his early days after graduation, trying to get a bearing on his art. And with stalwarts at the village like Nandagopal, Gopinath, Douglas, Viswanathan et al, as his mentors and guides it was a matter of time before he cast away his novitiate mantle to emerge with an articulated visual language driven and conditioned by his intense individuality. His innate restlessness found an easy catharsis in nature as a child of seasons, enjoying the breathtaking nature in all its dimensions; from flora and fauna to the whispering groves and seducing mountains behind his grandparent’s house in Tambaram in Chennai. Open wide spaces filled with trees and bushes and agricultural fields offered young Jacob enough opportunities of a sport of chasing butterflies and dragonflies, or playing with lizards picked up from fields, which became his favourite past time. These early experiences, Jacob carries within himself as a repertoire of visual vocabulary, deeply etched in his memory and subconscious. It emerged in his series on “Dragonflies”, [2003] signposting his advance in the upward climb of ladder of artistic development and maturity.

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