Pandemic-shaped Art

Using mundane objects to create art

For this artist, creativity is synonymous with sustainability

Using mundane objects to create art

Smiley Chaudhary with her painting of Maharaja Ranjit Singh that has been displayed at the new adminstrative building

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 2

Artistes had a challenging year in terms of survival and visibility for their art. But some are choosing to rise above it by making optimum use of this unexpected hiatus. Smiley Chaudhary, a city-based muralist, has been busy creating art for a cause.

Smiley specialises in working with waste, mostly crude materials such as cement, wood, iron, bamboo, GRC, fibre, wax, glass, paper, ribbon and turning the mundane materials into intangible art. She has been busy with several projects to contribute towards community building.

“It has been quite challenging to arrange for raw material for my art work, since I source my material from waste. With everything shut during lockdown last year, I had to ensure to go extra mile to arrange for waste material such as broken glass, tiles, even scraps of fabrics that I used to get from boutiques. After a tough six months, I decided to work on few projects to create murals and installations for community-based initiatives,” she shares.

She has been engaged in FICCI FLO’s mentorship programme to train underprivileged girls. She also created a series of paintings inspired by the life of Maharaja Ranjit Singh that were donated to the district administration. “My entire lockdown period went into creating these paintings by using scraps and waste,” she said.

“The paintings are an example of sustainable art as I have used plant-based waste such as peels in making them and they will be displayed at the new administrative building. I also worked on creating installations and miniatures to be displayed at international airport,” she said.

Her most recent work includes creating miniatures for FLO mini forest on the pattern of rock garden. “I have made miniatures by using broken tiles, ceramics, fabric scrap and glass. It has been my way of raising awareness regarding nature and sustainability through art. I feel, post pandemic, the message is loud and clear. We have to embrace a nature-friendly lifestyle.”

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