Dhanaraj Keezhara had held solo and group exhibitions in more than 30 villages in Kerala (1986-91); Participated in the annual painting exhibitions organized by Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy (1989, 1990, 1991, 2004, 2007 and 2008) ;Exhibition of spiral painting at Ravindra Kalakshetra, Bengaluru (1993), Group exhibition titled ‘From the nether the ceaseless dance’ in three towns of Kerala (1993-94), Environment photo exhibition in Ooty (1997, 1998 and 1999); Group exhibition in Chitra Art Gallery in Bengaluru (1999); Solo exhibition Teri Bangalore (2005); Group exhibition by Bangalore Film Society (2005, 2006 and 2007); Solo exhibition’ Truth from the margins ‘- AFB Bangalore (2007) ; Silpa Chitra - Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath (2009), Solo exhibition ‘Stirring silence ‘- AFB Bangalore (2010), Exhibition at Art Bengaluru (2012) at UB City – Bangalore, Group exhibition - Galerie Sara Arakkal (2012), group exhibition ArtWave by Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath ( 2014); Every Day Life: The Repertoire of Ritual and Performance, a multi-media collaboration with US sound artist Diana Chester at Kannur in Kerala (2014). Sugatha - a terracotta sculpture, Kerala (2015) ; Theyyam Nelathezhuthu - transient painting on courtyard- Collaboration art with Diana Chester, Kannur (2016); Community graffiti at Fishmarket, Cherukunnu, Kannur (2016); Theyyam - Ritual, Myth, and People - a pop-up installation- Collaboration art project with Diana Chester, Keezhara, Kerala (2017); A Sculpture garden, tribute to O N V Kurup, at GGVHS School, Cherukunnu (2017) ; Solo Exhibition -Chiaroscuro - the shades of light and life- Metro Art Gallery, Bangalore (2017) ; Art for HOPE workshop for differently-abled people At HOPE , Pilathara(2018); Solo exhibition- Stirring Silence, at Artville ,Bangalore (2018)He has co-authored the book ‘Rain In the Wind -A Collection of Art and Poetry,’ an innovative collaborative work that shares the poetry of Deneene A Collins of USA. Awards and recognitions include International Photography Competition YDC – Netherlands 1995; Indiana University Photography Award – 2014. Dhanaraj is also an Adobe certified trainer. Born - 1969, Keezhara, Kannur, Kerala, INDIA Studies - Gitanjali College of Fine arts, Kannur Dhanaraj, at present, working as a Head of the Department of Art & Visual Media at CHRISTEL HOUSE INDIA, Bangalore and living in Bangalore with wife Nisha, son Sidhartha and daughter Tejaswini.
Truth from the margin series of paintings visualized the marginalized communities . Dhanaraj's vivid canvases continue to be melancholy yet arresting reminders of progressive human encroachments on the natural and a deep sense of loss of more consonant ways of living. Painting is at once a reaction and a response to urban life around him, organizing and reflecting on the incredible chaos one is constantly bombarded with as well as a concretization of hope and possibility.
Stirring silence series captures the emotions associated with rain and is also a critical commentary on destruction to the environment.It takes the viewer from blue swirling winds and black clouds of gloom to shafts of light and liveliness, and to rain-drenched green fields of happiness. Yet what is impossible to translate into words is the artist’s ‘real time’ experiences. What it is possible to feel is the intricate weaving of several strands of thought and feeling. Nostalgic imagination, ideological perspective, economic and political commentary and ethnic insight all weave themselves together. Finally, it is these merging streams of artistic intuition and current reality that draws in the viewer.
Every Day Life"is a multi-media collaboration ,explore the theme of community and marginalization by way of the Theyyam This exhibition brings together photographs, Photoart , paintings, drawings, and sound recordings of the Theyyam Festival. Focused on the Theyyam festival , the artists use their critical eye to explore the concepts of marginalization and community. Their work aims to challenge people about their assumptions of Theyyam, and to provide a visual and sonic experience that is familiar in ritual and tradition, but which focuses the audience’s attention on the artist’s gaze of the marginalized communities that create and perform the Kaliyattam.
Delve deep into silence to feel the waves of pain. The handmade canvas, the shades of tea stain and the night-dark sketches illuminate a monographic journey of the artist through the vagaries of life. Seemingly simple, yet aesthetically powerful lines explore many lives and invariably unveil the pace of modern times. Indecipherable staring, unseen shades of the night, posture of loneliness with unidentifiable desires and childhood innocence are part of this light and shadow play. Each canvas is replete with an enduring stillness. It’s the dexterous spread of shades and pause of insanity that give voice to the tales of the unheard.
"Remarkably good creative works in a new medium show meturity in handling the medium. The figurative drawing contained with various shades of tea stain give unique effect. Congratulations to Dhanaraj"
"A good experience and journey through the artwork of Shri. Dhanaraj based on the theyyam theme rural life, the visit took me to areal theyyam ritual."
"In Everyday Life : A Repertoire of Ritual and performance' Dhanaraj turn art into a colorful performance by bringing together photos, photo-art, sketches, and paintings. Art here comes closest to the every day life lived in North Malabar and puts on the mystery of myth and the magic of ritual. At a time of alienating technology and regressive art , here technology is used to relative art for life and art turns into a rite performed for the general good. The sky comes close to the earth in an explosion of sound and color."