Modi’s “Make in India Lion” – Are this Tenali based father and son the real inspiration ??

Everyone has seen the “Make in India” campaign unveiled by the central government. The Lion logo made of nuts, bolts and the wheels is unmissable. The logo in the shape of a silhouette of a lion is made with cogs to symbolise manufacturing, strength and pride. It has been created by boutique ad agency Wieden+Kennedy, best known for its creative branding work for IndiGo. 

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V. Sunil, executive creative director at Wieden+ Kennedy, explained to the media “The ‘Make in India’ logo is derived from India’s national emblem.  The wheel denotes peaceful progress and dynamism — a sign from India’s enlightened past, pointing the way to a vibrant future.  The prowling lion stands for strength, courage, tenacity and wisdom — values that are every bit as Indian today as they ever have been.”
But is there an inspiration from this Tenali based Father -Son duo who are sculptors who turn twisted waste metal and wires into life-like sculptures. Their names are Katuri Venkateswara Rao and his son Ravi Chandra. Now see what they really made 2 years back in 2012.
From scrapyard to gallery
Father-son duo Katuri Venkateswara Rao and Ravi Chandra turn twisted waste metal and wires into life-like sculpturesHe grew up watching his father Katuri Venkateswara Rao meticulously sculpt, as though magically breathing life into the statuettes he made for a living. Thoroughly inspired, Ravi Chandra too wanted to follow suit. He was only a tiny tot when he first held a brush and started painting. Shouldering the legacy of his forefathers who were into temple construction at Nellore and later moved to a small hamlet called Tenali in Guntur district, Ravi Chandra too was keen on carving a niche — but only with a new perspective.
To fine tune his skill, Ravi Chandra, a seventh generation-sculptor, moved to Kolkata for two years and earned a masters degree in fine arts at the Calcutta University.
“I was sculpting along with my father right through my growing-up days. I thought to myself that we had to do something different to strike a chord with the new generation of art lovers. It was only after my masters that I came up with the idea of making sculptures with scrap,” said the 24-year-old sculptor. His imagination grew wings at the Convention of Biological Diversity held in 2012 at Hyderabad. After getting a warm response, they hosted another exhibition at Silparamam. “At first when I pitched this idea to my father, he was no doubt supportive. But he was a bit skeptical for the task at hand was difficult,” recalled Ravi Chandra.
Today, give this father-son duo a few tons of twisted, wasteful scrap material, and they come up with a life-like sculpture. Their mantra is to blend creativity with a streak of innovation and give their audience something special.

“We now have a small studio back home where a group of 15 people work with us. We buy scrap in tons from Maya Bazaar at Guntur market. Each sculpture takes close to two-six months to be made. We first scatter all the scrap on the floor and then start by picking up one piece — which we think best suits the art form — at a time,” explained Chandra about their routine.
Here in Bangalore for a week-long exhibition at the Chitrakala Parishad, the duo will exhibit a selective range of Katuri Sculptures made out of iron wire, welded iron washers, automobile scrap, iron link chain and copper wire. The iconic statues include Mahatma Gandhi weaving his cloth, which took its shape from a few pieces of ridged GA wire and iron rods. Apart from a life-size horse made out of washers, an elephant made out of link chain, woman in a saree made from iron washers and chains, the most intriguing and tiring work that kept Chandra awake late in the night for several weeks was the sculpture of a man seen welding.
“This particular sculpture needed a lot of detailing. We were able to finish it in about three and a half months,” he said.
The family admits that the effort has been daunting and involves a lot of patience. A piece of art is valued between Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh, and thankfully for them, there are takers. “We are really happy that our work has been appreciated and we also have interested buyers. We want to earn a good name in this field and hope this brings us global recognition,” wished Chandra.
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