Why save the world?

Published: Jun 17, 2019, 07:02 IST | Dalreen Ramos

A group of young artists will attempt to address this question through an exhibition that looks at human neglect and the threat of extinction

Why save the world?
A Final Message by Mustafa Khanbhai

In 2012, the world was supposed to come to an end. Prayers were chanted, articles were printed in the papers, movies were made and suddenly, it was 2019. It may not feel like the end of the world yet, but along the way, out of all the species that have ever existed on planet Earth, over 99 per cent are now extinct. The picture is grim and now, there’s an exhibition in the city for those who still fail to understand the need of conservation.

Priyanka D'souza's (Detail) How to Unromanticise the Anthropocene - 1 uses gouache with polythene and copperleaf on paper
Priyanka D'souza's (Detail) How to Unromanticise the Anthropocene - 1 uses gouache with polythene and copperleaf on paper

Titled Muterarium, a portmanteau derived from the Latin verb “mutare” meaning to change or exchange, and terrarium, a glass unit for growing plants, the exhibition showcases the work of three young artists curated by Delhi-based Adwait Singh at Colaba’s Mumbai Art Room. “When you mention the word extinction, people only think of dinosaurs,” says city-based artist Priyanka D’Souza, who is showcasing her works along with Mustafa Khanbhai and Waylon James D’Souza. With her project Whales in Baroda, D’souza has worked on miniature paintings that deep dive into the consumption of whales i.e. the making of whalebone corsets or whale oil being used for street lighting. She also mentions the incident where a dead whale’s body stuffed with plastic was found in The Philippines earlier this year. “After the ban on plastic in Maharashtra, I started collecting coloured polythene bags. These have now been ironed out and used in my artwork,” she says. While Khanbhai, 26, has created three videos and sculptures each, that speculate on the aftermath of the sixth extinction. “I look at the future of urban wildlife thriving in our ecosystem — through a lizard creating a nest inside the walls of a building. Plus, I’ve used the software Blender, which is freely available and profit isn’t the goal unlike others. So, this is not a top-down approach.”

Mustafa Khanbhai
Mustafa Khanbhai

For D’Souza, 23, the message is simple. “[Conservation] is just a behavioural change. I want this consciousness to sink in.”

Priyanka D’souza
Priyanka D’souza

Till: August 31, 7 am to 7 pm
At: Mumbai Art Room, 4th Pasta Lane, Colaba.
Call: 9757403293

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