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Meet a stone artist with no formal training

Ballari: S. Nagaraj of Desanur, an island-village surrounded by the Tungabhadra River in Sirguppa taluk, has been giving life to stones.

What is more surprising is that he has not undergone any formal training and is a self-made artist. “Since childhood I have had the penchant of creating artworks using chalk pieces. Later, I continued with my hobby and started working on shiny white stones, which look similar to marbles but are much softer, for the past 20 years”, he told The Hindu, adding that he has no formal training.

His artworks include the well-known “Shila balike” of Belur, Lotus Mahal and Stone Chariot of Hampi, nandi, temples, cell phones, a hand holding a pen, grinding stone, Ganesha, a cup and saucer among other things. These works, among others, were on display at the taluk-level Kannada Sahitya Sammelan held here on Sunday. Nagaraj, who works as an assistant to a RMP doctor at his village, said that he has been making use of his spare time to create the artworks. “I just recall the sculptures which I see during my visit to some historical and architecturally important places and reproduce the same. Some bigger pieces take over two months to complete,” he said, adding that he is not keen on selling his works and just loved to exhibit them at major events.

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