Kathy on Indian Arts – Reach Foundation: Conserve our Rich Heritage!!
Katherine Brobeck (67 years) is an enthusiastic aficionado from the US. Her present major interest is sculptures of Tamilnadu, with special emphasis on those belonging to the Pallava, early Chola, Muttaraiyar and Irukkuvelir periods. She has been traveling extensively and presently on her 13th visit to India. Here is a brief autobiographical sketch.
“I am 67, born and raised in the SF bay area, California, my father was an engineer at Oak Ridge project, World War II; then chief engineer at University of California, Berkeley Radiation Laboratory. I was admitted to a good college, studying music, but dropped out in ’63, no direction, floundered until mid-80s when I re-discovered a love of India, Sabhu as ‘Elephant Boy’ in the early Korda film, & rekindled in the old USA book, “Ripley’s Believe it or Not. . . opening with sadhus at Kasi, performing extreme tapas: following the sun cross the sky each day until blind, holding up one arm until muscles atrophied, etc. [I was only 8] but that extreme quest for GOD inspired me. Winter ’93-94 worked in a small orphanage in eastern Gujarat, Bilimora, and after that felt confidant to travel all over India to ancient, obscure sacred sites.
“I work as a clerk in a public library in New England, USA. Every other year I go to India. I’ve now travelled extensively in India 12 times — Dwarka to Sundarbans, Madurai to Delhi.
“My greatest joy is to look hard at each image and notice each telling detail. ‘Faces’ make the greatest impact on me – even if the body is fine, if the face is inexpressive, I’m not be too impressed. I’m quite fussy in judging something ’1st rate.’ I know little of the classic aesthetic but judge by my own responses. I would like to help out in preservation [of early murthis especially], in any way I can.
“On my trip Jan ’07, I was inspired by Narthamalai, Kodumbalur, Sendalai, Kudimiyanmalai, Thirugokarnam, Keezhaiyur & the two koils at Tirumayam. My two favorite temples in all India are Vijaylaya Cholesvara, Narthamalai; & Malegitte Sivalaya, Badami, Karnataka.
“There are also many murthis I can’t identify which I would love to know about, their puranas, etc.”
Speech made by Kathy later on Indian Arts can be found here .