Union Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma here on Thursday inaugurated a public art exhibition titled "Arth: Art for Earth", curated by artist Manav Gupta.
Speaking at the event at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, the Minister said that the "Indian culture is our strength and identity, and artists are people adding strength to this identity".
With an aim to promote environmental consciousness, Gupta has created six environmental installations, using thousands of earthen lamps (diyas), cigars (chillams) and cups (kulhars) as primary material.
The material, Gupta says, comes from the nature and also symbolises it.
The works transform the individual identity of these earthen vessels into metaphors and idioms of sustainability, context, perception and treatment.
"A diya (an earthen lamp) is discarded after use. I've used it as a metaphor for mother earth, which seems to have a similar fate," the artist said at the inauguration.
He, through these works, has converted "rural Indian clay pottery into avante garde contemporary installations that embrace nature".
The installations are: "Rain", "Ganga the Riverfront and Matighar", "Time Machine", "The Beehive Garden" , "Bed of Life", and "Noah's Ark".
Through the massive installation on river Ganga's waterfront, Gupta aims to highlight the solutions "an ancient way of life could offer in today's context of sustainable development and current issues around rivers".
The intricate installation symbolises the mountains, from where the Ganga takes birth and then flows down into the plain and forks into distributaries.
Speaking about his installation about rains, he said: "It has been installed on Neem and Arjun trees, barks of which are extracted for medicinal purposes. To (metaphorically) nurture those plants, I've created an installation called rain."
With these works, Gupta hopes to spur dialogues and questions that audiences can have with the art and within themselves.
The exhibition is open for public viewing till October 22.
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