Kerala has never been scarce in the number of talented and skilled artists. Almost all villages in the State is being recognised by at least one artist it has produced. This artistic affluence is the reason why artists from Kerala are being known across the world time to time. Here is one young, spirited mural artist from Atholi, a village in Kozhikode district, who has recently been chosen for the annual young artist fellowship by the Ministry of Culture for the year 2014-15. Apart from being an exponent in mural artistry, V. M. Jijulal, 37, is also one among a handful of artists in India, who excelled in the art and science of art conservation.
“My passion for art was never stagnant. Even as practising as a mural artist, having worked at almost all the nook and cranny of this State, I always craved to do something more, something different. My foray into the art of conservation was the result of this craving,” Jiju, as he is fondly being called by his friends, reminisced.
Jiju kick-started his art conservation projects in 2003 with the mural works at Ananthapuram temple in Kasargod. The mural art inside the Sanctum Sanctorum had almost faded and the temple authority wanted to renovate. Jiju, who was trained in mural art at Guruvayur Devaswom Chumar Chitra Padana Kendram, took up the challenging work as he knew it was the apt job to test his expertise in the art.