Many of Hoysala temples were built by chieftains and local administrators unlike those erected by members of the Royal Family in the Chola Kingdom. It is also reflective of the kind of relationship that existed between creative artisans and those in power, unlike that which is prevalent now. Art was seen as an expression which need to be nurtured, facilitated and given a space to express itself.
And the artisans of the Hoysala period were indeed exceptional. They made sure that you take notice of them. Perhaps for the first time in temple architecture, they signed their names beneath their creations. Like Mallithamma who built the Somnathpur Temple. His sculptures were signed as Malli or simply Ma.
As I was photographing them in fading light and gentle showers, I was also struck by the play of light and shadows on the richly carved walls. The sculptures seem to take a different expression as you shifted your perspective. Perhaps the cholitric stone also lent itself for the filigree like craftsmanship.
In addition to depiction from the epics, there is also portrayal of creative pursuits like dance and music. The temples would have been built in uncertain times when territorial conflicts were quite imminent, but there is hardly a reflection of these in these portrayals…which highlights the importance of sublimation as a way of coping with conflicts within and without.
Art is the essence of life
As if flowers, it gives us the seed of life
isn’t it time that we nurture it…
Penned In The Age Of Digital Sublimation,,,,