How Can Commas, Semicolons, Brackets and More be Used as Art Forms?

Veena Devagiri has a knack for turning the most ordinary things into something extraordinary and this has enabled her to enter the India Book of Records for creating ‘unique design concepts using punctuations’.

An art teacher by profession, who is now taking a sabbatical, uses simple techniques with protruding punctuation marks like a simple comma, question marks, brackets and semicolons to create various symmetrical and asymmetrical designs.

These innocuous elements of the English lexicon have rendered a detailed landscape of flora and fauna, delineating a careful assemblage of punctuations onto a canvas.

The work that has set a world record measures 3X2.5 meters on canvas with shades of blue monochrome using acrylic colours.

Veena, who has been an art teacher for the past 19 years, avers her work is a tribute to mother nature. She says, “when I created this artwork everyone around me motivated me to get in touch with some record book to try and set a record. Therefore, I thought of contacting a record committee. But the real inspiration behind my work is my students. I have always tried to teach my students innovatively. Art doesn’t always come very naturally to a lot of children. They have apprehensions and become reluctant. That’s when I thought of new ideas that could encourage my students to take up art more seriously. Punctuations are something that students use very often while writing. So they are familiar with it. So this design concept originally created for my students, pushed me to create a canvas that has set a record today.”

Passionate about experimenting with paint in different mediums and collecting varied artefacts in materials ranging from wood to gold, she has participated in various exhibitions in India and Dubai.

“To enhance my knowledge, I even pursued a Diploma in Art therapy and Diploma in counseling. I follow my passion by conducting art therapy and counselling sessions while teaching. So, this allows children to bring out their hidden emotions and it helps cope with their adolescent minds. I am even writing a book now on the subject that I love the most — Art.”

Veena’s devotional paintings have adored many walls of admirers across borders.

She has also participated in Abu Dhabi Technology Development Authority’s novel programmes, where she has been recognized as an innovator for a “Spin and Paint” device she invented.

She explains, “I used old cycle parts which created paintings by propelling a brush over a canvas. I have made sculptures and art using coconut shells as well. Therefore, I like implementing simple concepts and strategies even while teaching art to my pupils.”

“The credit for all my achievements goes to my Father Mr Krishnamurthy Patil, a renowned photographer in Ranebennur (Karnataka) who was also a gifted artist. He was my mentor who introduced me to art in my childhood”, adds the Indian expat who has spent 25 years in the UAE.

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