"Raji Punnoose's works have a novelty about them. Here is a collection from the beaches of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where she has spent 25 years as a school teacher. During her strolls along the beaches, she used to come across wood pieces washed ashore.
Noticing there blurred shapes she chiselled them to perfection. She has never been trained in any form art and this adds charm to her endeavour. Raji says, she has spent long hours pruning and giving shape to driftwood. Apart from the tribal Jarawa woman, Handicapped Family, Monkey, Lion and Elephant, there are also pieces focusing on the Kargil War and Subash Chandra Bose's Chalo Dilli Campaign. The Crocodile with all its 'ferocity' looks almost real...
The sea continues to fascinate her and she feels it as the greatest sculpture. However, it is in her hands that these dead pieces get a fresh lease of life". Friday Review, The Hindu, 15th Feb 2002,
"Raji's each work has its own individuality. She finds potential for sculptures in the bends and slopes of' raw driftwood pieces. The Sculptor in her renders perfection, without tampering with the naturality of the sculptures already shaped by the sea in a vivid manner. A typical example of this may be noticed in her work 'The Handicapped Family'. She has a good collection of flowers-buds and those bloomed partly or fully. Her proficiency lies in identifying the most appropriate possible shape or design in the driftwood pieces she collects and then transforming them to the idea she has in mind with talented efforts". Sunday Supplement, Malayalai Manorama- 9th Dec 2001
Lonely Planet - Tourist guide on South India
It is worth stopping by the Bay Island Driftwood Museum, not least for owner Raji Punnoose’s animated explanations of her life’s work. Inside is a motley collection of driftwood from the Andaman Sea which has been cleaned up and arranged to resemble in all manner of shapes and wildlife. Some pieces have striking resemblances to real life objects, while others take a lot more imagination and prompting from the convincing Ms.Punnoose.
Outlook Traveller –Kerala & Lakshadweep (Published by Outlook Publishing (India) Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi)
“This unique museum displays ‘the art of the sea’ - chiseled driftwood gathered from the beaches of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal, hence the name. The driftwood pieces were chiseled by curator Raji Punoose, a retired teacher, into shapes that vary from a crocodile found off Port Blair’s Wandoor beach to a sculpture of Nethaji Subash Chandra Bose addressing an audience from wood collected off Mayabunder beach in middle Andaman.’’
The Rough Guide to Kerala and The Rough Guide to South India (Published by Rough Guides, New York, London, and Delhi, written and researched by David Abram)
“Birds or representation of them, feature prominently in the areas most bizarre visitor actraction, the Bay Island Driftwood museum just off the main road on the outskirt of Kumarakom. While out on rambles along the shoreline of the distant Andaman Islands, school teacher Raji Punnoose used to collect lumps of drift woods, twisted and worn in to shaper resembling animals, birds, fish and people ………. Raji guides visitors through the highlights with a breathless commentary that is as idiosyncratic and entertaining as the pieces themselves. Allow at least an hour for the full tour.”
Kerala (Maps & More) Tourism guide (Published by Stark World)
This museum is the brain child of Raji Punoose, a teacher who worked in the Andaman & Nichobar Islands for 25 years. She started collecting pieces of drift woods washed ashore and spent hours pruning and giving shape to what had already been shaped by the sea. Located at Chakranpadi, the museum has a stunning array of elegant drift wood sculptures. In its “ferocity” a crocodile looks almost real. The flowers and buds collection is also worth a peek.”
Like Newton observing the apple fall and finding gravity, Raji Punnoose has the ability to see further than all of us and discover nature's work and present to us in the form of drifting wood sculptures.
Luis & Qurra Scheker
Louisville, Kentucky, USA
The thrill flows and flows...
“Old wood turned stone- with the spirit of a wonderful lady-turned to eternal life."
"Of all the things said and heard about Kumarakom, this should be on the top of the list of things to see….most importantly, to savor. Beautiful to observe and humbling in the fact that nature as an artist is so much more powerful than human the artist.”
"I am not an art lover. I do not understand much. But this is different and a heart-touching experience."
"Just wonderful. Speechless. Unique pieces of art arid imagination combined, which leave one speechless."
"Marvelous creativity and imagination unexplainable work of nature and human brain..."
“A unique experience.A great labour of love and artistic imagination."
"Absolutely enchanting! It is such a delight to see someone following her bliss with such passion and joy."
“It is as if the hands of time have come to a standstill and this museum has captured the beauty of a thousand years under onroof. My sincere gratitude for the vision, dedication and hard work of this tireless artiste"