Trash to treasure


What goes around comes around, and how! The philosophy of “recycle, recreate and reuse” has been doing the rounds for quite sometime now, however, in the art segment there’s a noted rise in number of artists who are using scrap metals to create interesting artworks.
These days many Indian contemporary artists are picking up themes that use mixed medium to express their creativity. A recently held exhibition titled “Memories of Heavy Metal and Glass” by young artist and sculptor Robin Passi saw the usage of old wires and broken glass parts transformed into interior décor items. Speaking about this theme, Robin informs, “I have used waste metal and glass parts to create around 50 pieces of décor items. I have constructed tables, lampshades and candle stands by using pistons, metallic springs and old household products. The idea was to remind us of how this destructive consumption actually deprives us of enjoying the process of history that we are living through.”
Whereas, artist Mukesh Sharma, who uses his art to express concerns regarding e-waste, mentions about his art project “A Terabyte-ing Serpentine” that used old electronic items. He says, “I have used mostly junk computer components like keyboards, monitors and computer chips which forces us to think of the complexity of recycling the non-biodegradable and the environmental hazard created by technology. There are art pieces that resemble an inverted tree covered with computer keys, junk computer monitors transformed into planters, a serpentine installation of keyboards and digital prints and a three-dimensional painting doubling up like a computer monitor. Through this art exhibit I wanted to highlight the invasion of privacy in our lives through technology.”
However, artist Badal Chitrakar, who will be showcasing his scrap installation titled “Self Defense” at the opening day of United Art Fair, mentions that he likes to recycle waste items to depict various themes. He says, “My recent artwork titled ‘Self defense’ is created from my old car. I removed the top of the car and fixed a steel drum and wind cycle on it, which looks like a helicopter, the installations looks like an army tanker. Beneath the roof is a dummy man that looks like a military jawan ready with arms and ammunition. The concept is self-defense in today’s time, and how every individual is responsible for his/her own security.”
On the other hand artist Arunkumar H.G., who is known for his scrap sculptures, feels that for an artist the medium is very strong way to convey a message. He says, “I use various recycled materials like burned matchsticks, polythene bags, wooden pieces etc because these medium are self-explanatory. In the field of art, the colours and shape play a very important role in highlighting the subject, so when I choose a waste material and create an installation from it, it automatically conveys my state of mind while constructing it.”

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