Sulochana K.E. alias Reena Palloor was born in Mahe. After her school studies she graduated from Mahatma Gandhi Government Arts College, Mahe, Puducherry.
Life has given Sulochana many twists and turning points. She is a latecomer to the art of murals. She had started learning the art at the age of 32 in Mahi Kalagramam under the tutelage of K.R. Babu of Vadakara. Sulochana mainly learned temple murals during the seven years she was trained by him.
She made paintings for several temples, organizations and educational institutions in Kerala and Puducherry. Her paintings found a place in the collections of many institutions and individuals.
When she presented her mural painting to Kannur Central Jail, the Superintendent asked her to teach mural paintings to the prisoners. She agreed and started teaching mural paintings to the prisoners. “It was a wonderful new experience to me. We have some preconceived notions and thinking about prisoners. When we try to understand them and their mental traumas and problems, we become compassionate,” Sulochana remarks.
Sulochana knows how colours can influence and expunge the sorrows and disappointments in life. She saw how paintings could calm the disturbed minds.
She was determined and committed to sharing the joys of painting with those who had lost interest in life and were confined within the four walls of a closed room. Her own experience had taught her to drive away the sorrows and redesign a life defined by the passion for art, dedication, hard work and self-confidence.
Sulochana taught mural painting to the prisoners of Kannur Central Jail for one-and-half years. Once she had a chance to meet the parents of a prisoner who were fighting against cancer. As she got to know more about them, she realised the importance of instilling the urge to love their own life and the need to fight against the disease. She understood that art can do wonders when people are down with frustration and agony.
During one of her interactions with Dr. Sathish Balasubramaniam, the Director of Malabar Cancer Centre, she suggested that the inmates of the hospital be taught the art of mural painting. He not only embraced the idea but also asked her to teach the art to the doctors, nurses and bystanders of cancer patients as they also go through a lot of mental stress along with the cancer patients.
The mission was started and those who showed interest in the effort were included with the support of the hospital authorities. Sulochana remembers, many of them were seeing the canvas for the first time and almost all had not even touched a painting brush before that. However, the training went on smoothly and the result was fantastic. In the first phase of the training, all were taught to draw for themselves. During the second phase of the training, the artists presented their creation to the hospital.
At the presentation of paintings to the hospital, one of the participants who had abandoned all her colour dresses during the treatment as she had lost her love for life, was present in the function wearing a new bright and colourful sari.
Sulochana admitted, “That was a great moment I could not forget in my life.” She was very happy and it gave her the satisfaction that she was instrumental in bringing colour and joy back into a woman’s life.
Later she organized a mural painting exhibition of the 11 participants with their 30 paintings. It was another great mission. The amazing fact about the exhibition was that all the participating artists except the leader were cancer patients.
Years of dedicated effort, passion, hard work at polishing her talent continuously through painting and teaching have helped her attain a very high position in her chosen field. She shines in multiple roles now. Besides an acclaimed mural painter, Sulochana is a mural painting teacher, charity activist, motivational speaker, environmentalist and a friend of the downtrodden people, especially women. She is a philanthropist and a sought after person in the sphere of culture and the arts.
She runs a charitable trust for women namely Ashraya Charitable Trust, which helps widows and underprivileged women to be self-reliant doing decent jobs and earning good incomes. Sulochana’s Ashraya Charitable Trust teaches tailoring and co-operative activities and enable women to earn sustainable incomes. She is the catalyst behind all the activities of Ashraya Charitable Trust.
She lives in Palloor at Mahe, Puducherry.
Sulochana is the daughter of a former soldier. It was a dream come true for Sulochana when her 15-feet painting named Geethopadesam was unveiled on the walls of the Commandant Office Complex, Defence Security Corps, Kannur, on 8th March 2021, the International Women’s Day. The painting was done collectively by Sulochana and her colleagues of Kalageham, Pallur and Malabar Cancer Centre, Thalassery. She counts it as a remarkable achievement in life and says, “This is our tribute to soldiers through colours”. For the first time in history a group of miniature painters completed the work after long, consistent and dedicated hard work and presented it to the Defence people.
Sulochana’s daughter R. Subhashree, Vikas Kovoor, Rahul Raj Mulleri, Preetha Padmanabhan, Murali Krishnan, K.K. Dasan, Rigesh Puliyul, Snigdha Sivakumar and Krishnanad too collaborated with Sulochana to complete the painting.
The Malayalam Film and TV Chamber of Commerce is really privileged to have such a multitalented and benevolent lady like Sulochana K.E. as its Peer Director.