As part of Earth Day celebrations on 22 April, the Chennai-based Art and Soul gallery and the non-profit, Paperman, are organizing a festival, “Re-stART Earth”, to increase awareness about the environment. The festival, which starts Saturday, will run till 13 May. It will include an exhibition, an online waste art contest, an eco art and craft market, an upcycled art workshop, and live graffiti sessions by artist Joyston Christopher Vaz.
For the exhibition, the idea is to take the waste out of landfills and reuse, or “upcycle”, it to make works of art. The 14 artists who will take part have explored various mediums to create drawings, paintings, installations and collages. “While many of the artists are specifically trying the use of waste objects for presenting at this show, we have several who constantly only work with scrap,” says Shylaja Chetlur, creative director and co-promoter of the Art and Soul gallery. Not all of them have used just waste, but all the works are focused on ways to preserve earth’s natural resources.
The artists include Vivek Rao, Sasi Kumar K., S. Jayaraj, Sujatha Mundra, V.V. Ramani, M. Natesh, Joyston Christopher Vaz, Shailesh B.O., Yuvaraj V. and Anjan Cariappa. “While many of the artists didn’t consciously start working with waste, some developed their works to incorporate more such products into their art after they saw the effect it has in giving their work a new dimension. For example, Ramani started with experimenting and using waste paper in his works and today he is famous for the creative collages he puts together using waste materials,” notes Chetlur.
The eco market, at the gallery premises, will showcase the use of newspapers, plastic waste and old clothes in creating products such as plastic wire baskets, paper jewellery, recycled bags and umbrellas. An ESK Learning Centre stall will display paper furniture made by differently abled children. “People need to see that there is life in waste. Creating waste into art brings in the element of value and we hope that this platform improves awareness on waste utility,” says Mathew Jose, founder of Paperman.
The exhibition will be held at the Art and Soul gallery, 204-A, Akkarai, East Coast Road, from 11am-10pm (Mondays closed). Registration is required for the eco market and the art workshop. For details, call 24530033.