Saturday, 29 March 2014

Taking Green Art

Today is Earth day. Taking Green Art was the name of a coffee morning organised by the Art Couture gallery in association with UAE Green Festival today. It is the same venue that is showing my 'Secret Garden' series inspired from medicinal plants. The gallery is showing Green Art all this month... until April 15.

In an opportunity to speak about 'green' in art... I wanted to address how we can - Stay inspired in art, Create original art and Market it. It was wonderful to have artists, both grown ups and children listen to you with keen attention. Must mention the coffee and the venue was great too!

For those who missed the session, here is a quick recap. Jeff Scofeild, Director of Dubai International Art Centre (DIAC) opened the talk introducing futuristic art landscape projects across the UAE. His slide show also presented some of the amazing green art projects that were a part of the various art shows in the country recently. "Possibilities are unlimited and this is just the tip of the green-art scene in the region," he summed up the elaborate presentation.

Jeff's presentation was academic and beautifully put together

After Jeff, I got my chance. In the UAE lot of us trap ourselves in its usual trappings and then complain about the lack of 'nature' in our lives. Actually this is not just in the UAE, the culprit is the comfortable lifestyle that we have adapted ourselves into. Every time we sit in front of the TV or walk into a mall for shopping... we have stolen ourselves from an opportunity to connect with our true surrounding. True or no?

Does not matter if we are living in an all-air-conditioned world, we are not without the nature, its changing weather and its daily wonders. When we run away from Dubai to an ideal vacation in the lap of nature... what do we actually do?  We just consciously connect and feel so wonderful. I love lying down in the grass and looking up at the branches... doesn't matter if its the prairies or Safa Park. The point is we must make efforts to connect with our immediate 'real' surrounding and draw inspiration from it... so much so that you fall in love with it. 'It' here means nature. Then you start worrying/protecting it too... and then probably consciously reduce the trash produced every day.

Or re use... or reinvent things.

Like the other day. I was left with some extra cake batter and no idea container to bake a small batch. And then I spotted an empty ghee tin can. And... Voila! [I know that is a mega muffin!]

Reusable Muffin Mold from Used Ghee Tin Can
1. Cut out the base using tin can opener 
2. Pour batter into the can
3. Bake
4. Remove the lid and push the muffin out

Artist Ashvin, another Green Art exhibition participant talked about upcycling. His unique bookends, made from used bottles and shoe boxes, explained it all.

Dr Ashvin explains upcycling with examples

Maja Poljock, the Serbian artist who expressed her deep connection with nature dedicates a whole series on burdock, a wild flower found in her country. "I used to think am this flower. I was defensive and quite like in the state in which my country was. But with traveling wide and far I have opened up... just like the burdock," says Maja.

EJ from UAE Green Festival speaks of how they want to look at future green art

Thank you Art Couture and the UAE for this green opportunity to share my understanding of greenness 

Artist Maja speaks on how Serbian nature and politics have influenced her art

Artist Beena sharing one of her recycled artworks in progress... it will soon be exhibited at DIAC.
And the day almost winds up with eco-art efforts at the art class today where my students express their art from waste in the studio. Diya produces an abstract work with 'red' for electricity and 'green & blue' for life... she calls her work 'Shades of Earth'... while Claire makes a collage inspired by nature's bounty in Australia and calls it 'My Water Fall'.

Are we going to switch off lights from 8.30pm to 9.30pm today... and celebrate Earth Hour?

Am off to a friend's place... hopefully we will have a candlelight coffee :)

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