Appa and other animals

Madhavan Palanisamy


About the Project

Last year my dad was very unwell. He suffered a partial stroke that made him immobile. I went to Coimbatore (i live in Chennai – and hour by domestic flight) to hang out with him, play him music, and tell him jokes. We also spoke about a lot of childhood memories (of his and mine) and life and death. It was a difficult time. My dad also after a few weeks of coming back home from hospital suffered a fall and was back in the hospital with stitches on his forehead. Evenings I would go for long walks listening to music just to shake off the stress. I would meet horses, mules, dogs that would follow me. Some of them became my friends. It was common to have dogs and cattle but not horses on the roads. They used to cart children to school in the past and now they are roaming to streets eating garbage. Like my dad who once was a Tamil-Marxist scholar and now is broken and bruised and feeding on nothing but stupid news and some soaps that the caregivers watch. 

When I was looking at the scans – I wanted to bring everything together – so that I will remember the time in the way it was for me. Layer it and create a fairytale for me. I wasn’t imagining that it would win awards or anything. 

My drawings of humans and animals somewhat look like cave drawings. I can only draw like that. I also believe in Jungian ideas of pre-human, pre-animal past. That we have a reservoir of experiences and memories in our subconscious. All of us can tune with another person’s energies, other animal’s energies. Sometimes our spirit guides are animals. (everyone has a guide team that is put in to help us). I was not close to animals but lately, I hug them and I feel that they talk to me. I spoke to an animal whisperer and she told me sometimes the animal knows if she meets someone who can listen.