This ongoing series of miniature paper artworks appreciates natural creatures

27 August,2022 09:58 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Tanishka D’Lyma

An ongoing series of 100 miniature paper artworks marks the importance of and appreciation for pollinators and all kinds of natural creatures

A tailorbird

It starts with inspiration from the natural world, as is common for artistic endeavours. Watercolour artist Vaishali Chudasama, and miniature paper cut artist Nayan Shrimali would frequently head out for birding trips; they would carry home those images and invest the natural wonders into their miniature paper art. It would continue with a sketch on paper, layers traced on 300-GSM watercolour paper, individually hand-cut, painted with precision and assembled into three-dimensional artworks with some of the smallest measuring 0.7 inches in height. The process, which takes four to eight hours for completion, has a goal behind it - to encourage people to appreciate nature.

Paper-cut artworks of an Eurasian eagle-owl

Sharing their miniature paper art on Instagram as NV Illustration, the Ahmedabad-based duo are consistent in their pursuit. Their longest running streak lasted two years with a 1,000-artwork series of every creation of nature you can think of - birds, insects, mammals, trees and rivers - posted daily from January 1, 2018 to September 26, 2020. Shrimali, who cuts the paper layers, and Chudasama, who paints them, credit their drive to teamwork and love for mother earth. This love nurtured a sweeter union. They got married during the 1,000-artwork series. Chudasama shares, "We photographed our artwork early in the morning, got married in the afternoon, and went home to make the next day's artwork in the evening."

Vaishali Chudasama; Nayan Shrimali

With an organic approach to timelines, the duo has almost reached the completion of a 100-artwork series started in November 2020 called Project Pollinators. The artists explain, "Pollination is an essential ecological survival function. Without pollinators, ecosystems would not survive. From the 1,400 crop plants grown around the world, those that produce all of our food and plant-based industrial products, almost 80 per cent require pollination by animals. Any imbalance can cause a catastrophe. So, the bottom line is, we depend on these beings." The series aims to raise awareness about the smallest of creatures and their importance, and what better way to communicate that than through miniature paper art? Chudasama continues, "We want our audience to embrace sustainable gardening techniques and grow native plants that these creatures can visit for nectar, which will keep the population of pollinators healthy."

Paper art of a red-wattled lapwing with its chicks

"After every birding trip or exploration, we return with minds filled with amazing experiences and stories. And there is still so much to know and see in nature that one lifetime won't be enough for it," they share. We have a feeling that 100 artworks might not suffice either, and the duo might continue a second 1,000-artwork challenge. Now here's a project that Coleridge, Wordsworth and the rest of the Romantics would approve of.

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