The 40-year-old artist’s fascination for the Unesco World Heritage Site is evident through a series of 40 artworks that glorify its architecture and intricate carving in an exhibition titled The Fabled Hampi at the Art Spice Gallery, the Metropolitan Hotel, to mark the World Heritage Day on April 18.
“In 2006, the Karnataka government gave me a month-long project to stay in Hampi and paint this architecture marvel. Such beautiful was the experience that since then I have been painting only Hampi and nothing else,” Doddamani told.
“What was surprising is a spot I would paint on a certain day, would never offer the same view the next day. The play of light and shadow has a different view to offer every day,” he said, adding he has created over 100 paintings of Hampi.
The artist belongs to Ramdurg town in Belgaum district and for the past 10 years, Doddamani has been visiting Hampi regularly — twice or thrice in a year — to paint this village located within the ruins of Vijayanagara city, former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire.
Doddammani has tried to bring forth elements that are usually ignored by visitors through oil painting.
There is a small sculpture inside a chariot in Hampi that can be seen through a hole. So the artist clicked a picture of that sculpture and highlighted it on his canvas — keeping the chariot in the background.
“An artist has the ability to capture things that are missed by all. So the attempt was to notice these small things, while keeping the basic essence of Hampi in the foreground,” he said.
Doddamani is keen to visit other heritage sites in the country and has already written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to offer him support to fulfil his wish. “Our prime minister talks elaborately about our rich culture and heritage, I too want to showcase that beauty to the world through my paintings. I need (financial) support to work in this direction,” he added.
The exhibition will end on May 20.