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Bridging the gap: When art serves as the link between man and nature

This ongoing exhibition in the Capital explores the relationship between man and nature.

art and culture Updated: Nov 22, 2016 18:52 IST
Saad Ghani
Saad Ghani
Hindustan Times
Wildlife

Artwork by tribal artist Ashish Kachhwaha.

There’s no denying that mankind in its quest for development and progress and in pursuit of new unconquered avenues aided by science, had spurned nature and wildlife long back — almost as if they were nugatory.

However, one doesn’t need to go far to confirm the same. The damage has been done! It’s evident in the dwindling flora of Delhi; different species of birds that one could find flying across the Delhi sky, and even the monotonous chirping of sparrows that one was so accustomed to hear in the morning, are all things of the past.

Egg Art Studio’s ongoing exhibition titled The Lair in the Capital explores man’s neglect and its reciprocative consequences on the wildlife and nature. The predominant themes of the exhibition are wildlife conservation and the need to save nature.

Amrita Varma, curator of the exhibition says, “This exhibition has been a product of half a year’s work to get together a truly intimate connection between man and nature through images in various mediums, from national and international artists.” She has brought together 29 like-minded artists and photographers from India and abroad for the same.

Artwork titled Machli by artist Vijay Kumawat done with diesel soot on paper.

The austerity and adroitness shown in the drawings, the vividness of the paintings, figures and objects moulded to convey meaningful messages and photographs that leave one in awe are all part of this exhibition.

“The divergence in this exhibition happens through the quality of artworks where instead of just lamenting the disjunct between man and environment, we look at the subtler reasons and perspectives with a light of hope to make a better world,” says Varma.

Artwork by Delhi-based artist Bipasha Sen Gupta.

Delhi-based artist Bipasha Sen Gupta’s 10 pieces are on legendary creatures from Indian mythology and are executed with tea stains and pigment on paper. While artist Vijay Kumawat’s works are all done with diesel soot on paper — realism prevails in all his works.

Having lived in jungles for years, he knows his subjects (tigers) really well. His work titled Machli is about the famous Bengal tigress that passed away in August this year in Ranthambore. The background has been done beautifully in blur to bring alive the animal on canvas.

Untitled artwork by Kashimir-based artist Omar Khan.

Artist Tapasya Gupta’s sculpture titled Soul Search done with fiber glass and steel is about how man can make a difference to the world. Another interesting work is by Kashmir-based artist Omar Khan who has painted a leopard to highlight the plight of the animals living in wildlife sanctuaries. The green of leopard’s eyes reflects yearning to return to forest.

Photographer Prarthana Modi works in black and white allude a painting-like effect. She says, “I prefer black and white photographs more than the colour ones as I feel the latter manage to capture detailing better.” One of her works has a lioness sprawling about on a branch of the tree. There is a look of contentment on the face of the animal as it looks at ground.

The work that stands out and speaks volumes is by tribal artist Ashish Kachhwaha, who is from Kanha (Madhya Pradesh). In this work, a lone tree stands in a corner among many tree stumps. The tree is being pulled down by a human hand through a rope and nature is mourning the death of the tree.

And photographer Sanjeet Mangat’s work, Sunset Dream has a lone elephant walking towards a shore. The setting, the sky, the sunset and the loneliness that pervade the work, questions the viewer: where are we heading?

Photograph titled Sunset dream by Sangeet Mangat.

The contemplation of the physical aspects of nature and the wildlife captured in the wilderness make this exhibition all the more alluring and at the same time help the viewer connect with the accent of high pictorial harmony.

Catch It Live

What: The Lair

On till: 17 December

Where: Egg Art Studio, Barakhamba Road

Nearest Metro: Barakhamba Road on Blue Line