Art from a garden
A Bengaluru artist is creating works from natural elements found in her backyard, tying creations with chance finds
Subhashini Chandramani remembers being surrounded by nature as her grandparents lived in lush villages, their homes surrounded by trees. Her holidays were spent lazing in the open. Her father tried to recreate the atmosphere in their hom in Chennai city, by planting coconut trees, flowering plants and berries, passing on what he knew about gardening to her. "He would say it was key to observe nature. He'd be able to accurately predict the weather by watching cloud patters, and the arrival of specific birds," says Bengaluru-based Chandramani.
Lunchbox created from elements found in the garden
It's no surprise that she now creates art inspired by nature, and sourced from it. Her Instagram page, @neelavanam documents her process, where she creates the forms of birds, insects, mandalas, all from natural resources found in her garden. "My art is instinctive, and pops up in unexpected places—in a twisted leaf, a withered flower, twig or vegetable. Since I use natural elements, they wilt and change shape over time. So, I have to quickly find and arrange the rest of the elements to complete it. I forage them in my garden, go up and down a couple of times to find what I need until the picture is perfect," she explains. A single work takes about four hours to make, and is "returned" to the earth when it has lost its life. She also customises works for clients, turning them into a digital photo print on archival paper so that they can keep it for posterity (Rs 5,000) onwards.
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