B 8

In 1827, the first phase of Bible translation undertaken by Benjamin Bailey was over. Bailey did this translation effort with the help of Chatthu Menon and a few Syrian priests. There were no parameters for translating Bible in Malayalam. The task was made difficult by the lack of a standard language and its set grammar texts. But Bailey and his team took great pains to stick to the spirit of Bible in a comparatively unfamiliar language, Malayalam. Syrian Christians took a lot of interest in obtaining copies of Bible. In 1829, New Testament was published in its entirety. Five thousand copies were printed and distributed and it was a historical event in itself.

In his relief work, artist Shaji Chalad picks up this historical publication of Bible in Malayalam. He chooses one pivotal moment of conveying Biblical knowledge from its source to the recipient; here the source being Benjamin Bailey and the recipient, a local believer. They are standing at the threshold of a church or a church like edifice. In the background, the artist has sculpted the presence of the college complete with the tower of the chapel. On the extreme right side of the panel, the multiple copies of the Bible are stacked, suggesting the number of copies reproduced for distributing amongst the believers, which eventually would set the standard and style of modern Malayalam.

Published On: January 27th, 2024Categories: Relief Sculpture

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