Eco-friendly: Art goes from earth to earth

  • Arushi Jain, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 10, 2015 19:15 IST

Where do those countless diyas go once the festivities are over? What happens to the kulhads that add flavour to your tea? While these earthen objects perhaps find their way to the dumpyard, a beautiful installation is town in making a strong point about the ­­depleting earth resources.

Titled The Ganga Waterfront, the installation by artist Manav Gupta shows the flowing river through thousands of diyas, kulhads and chillums (smoking pipes).

"I have been working with earthen lamps for a very long time. The installation is quintessentially Indian, as every Indian grows up watching these traditions," says Gupta, adding that he always had the urge to create something unique out of clay objects.

The installation is quintessentially Indian.

"I wanted to be sure of the medium. I chose clay as I wanted the medium to be intrinsic in its originality and uniqueness. Disposed chillums, lamps and kulhads triggered in me a desire to create some out-of-the-box art using local material."

The increasing river pollution, the shrinking of water and more such climate change issues have been part of Gupta's work for long. "I grew up in the midst of the green meadows of Kolkata, where I sculpted tree trunks.

It took the efforts of over a hundred potters to craft the several thousand earthen lamps, and Gupta himself spent seven days and nights to execute the artwork. "I hope that after observing earthen lamps as public art, people will not discard diyas and relate to the fact that clay represents the earth and humans, and if we deplete them, we are depleting humankind."

Catch it live
What: Rain, the Ganga Waterfront: An Installation
Where: India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road
On till: April 20
Timings: 10am to 8pm
Nearest metro station: Jor Bagh on the Yellow Line

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