Kochi: Vasudevan Akkitham had no choice left but to restrict his artistic thoughts to the four walls of his house when everything was forced to shut down to curtail the fast-spreading Covid-19. With the limited resources, he sat down at his dining table and painted a 365 days lockdown journal. The project titled An Almanac of a Lost Year is part of the ongoing Kochi Muziris Biennale at the Aspinwall House, Fort Kochi.

“During the lockdown, I decided to explore the domestic space and work with a medium which is easy to deal with and has a certain degree of fluidity. As I began to work on it with small papers and watercolours, a disconnect with the world outside happened inside me. So, I created a new world which was sometimes sad, bizarre and at times optimistic,” says Vasudevan Akkitham.

The 64-year-old artist and teacher from Palakad, Kerala who resides in Baroda reflects upon different nuances of life in the 365 small format work. The large installation is almost a world in itself where there are fantasies, thoughts, and imagination and it also deals with many political issues.

“My father passed away around the same time and it was difficult for me to reach Kerala but somehow I managed. On that day, I did a little drawing of my father’s funeral. I don’t really want to point them out to any particular incident. There are many connections with the things which happened in the world around me,” he says. An Almanac of a Lost Year is a personal statement or commentary on certain issues happening around looking from an enclosed space. “I see them as a wholesome of small images that culminate rational and emotional me,” he says.

In parallel to An Almanac of a Lost Year, Vasudevan also showcases Distance, a tryptic work that features three paintings titled Departure, Journey and Arrival. “It’s autobiographical. It is about how our mental makeup is framed during childhood and how we carry it till our death in different ways. It is also about how we move from our roots and migrate to different places for survival,” he says.