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Art for the planet

Go green with your art choices this Diwali—here’s the work of seven artists who have a deep engagement with the environment

Here’s the work of seven artists who have a deep engagement with the environment
Here’s the work of seven artists who have a deep engagement with the environment


Materials sourced from industrial scrapyards

Arunkumar H.G. has been working with packaging wood, recycled paper pulp and wood glue reclaimed from industrial scrapyards around Gurugram for several years now. One can see these used in several of his works, such as Within, Without and Impinged (below). “This industrial packaging doesn’t come from the city, as the forests have already vanished, but from the villages. In some ways, trees are migrating to the city just like people," says Arunkumar, who has also set up the Centre for Knowledge and Environment in his hometown Shimoga, in Karnataka.

To view or buy his works, contact Gallery Espace, Delhi;


Scrap, waste and discards

from export rejects

Artist duo Ritu and Surya Singh of Wolf Jaipur have been working with textiles, metals and discards sourced from export rejects. They bring this ethos of sustainability to their latest collection Ultramarine—inspired both by marine life and Mughal miniature paintings. Take, for instance, Stony Corals (right), which has been crafted from discarded carpets, chillums, scrap jewellery and cowries.

To view or buy their works, contact Baro, Mumbai;


Mine soil and seriagraphy based on the landscape of the Barbil iron ore mines of Odisha

The Kolkata-based artist uses research, photo etchings and canvases to describe the sociopolitical and environmental issues plaguing the iron ore mines in Odisha’s Keonjhar district. In works such as Making A Barren Land (below), she has created portraits of the transformed landscape using soil from the mines.

To view or buy her works, contact Shrine Empire, Delhi;


Found and fabricated objects to question the impact of mass tourism

Bengaluru-based Chonat uses faux fur, unfired clay, sandalwood soap and found electronic waste to recreate silhouettes of tourist sites. One of the highlights is Turquoise (right). It shows a dilapidated house resting on a bed of stalactites, with huge flippers extending from it.

To view or buy his works, contact GallerySke, New Delhi and Bengaluru;


Natural dyes and cotton to explore the politics of the clothes we wear

Mani draws on age-old natural dyeing techniques in works such as Spore Trail (below) to highlight our ancestors’ deep engagement with their natural surroundings. By drawing from the Book Of Wonders, Persian miniatures and 16th century German woodblock prints, she also draws parallels between the medieval dark ages and the apocalypse we seem to be headed towards.

To view or buy her works, contact Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai;


Stoneware and ceramics

Jaipur-based Kumar creates apocalyptic landscapes in stoneware and ceramics. The contrast of hand-built clay with the crackle matte glaze reinforces the idea of urban society as a malignant tumour feeding off nature’s bounty. “This concept of decay and disintegration continues in his series titled Nature’s Signature (above), where termites are encrusted on the walls of modern progress while a symbolic human figure looks out as witness to eternal time while experiencing the present," writes Kristine Michael in an essay about Kumar’s 2018 exhibition, Earth Diaries.

To view or buy his works, contact Gallery Threshold, Delhi;


Materials such as leftover marble, blood slides and cane trash

At The Sculpture Park at Madhavendra Palace, Jaipur, a white installation catches the eye. Kama, made using leftover marble chips, is a likeness of the female pelvic bone. “Countless women offer prayers before deities for a child. I have created a positive space in the form of a female pelvic bone from the marble blast stones, left after making these deities…" writes Pandey in an Instagram post. Pandey, who is from Jaipur, uses recycled, reclaimed and found material in his work.

To view his works, visit The Sculpture Park at Madhavendra Palace, Jaipur;

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