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“Gaia” is a Greek word for the earth goddess.
In science, the Gaia theory proposes that Earth is composed of various components which have been constantly balancing each other in order to have a healthy self-sustaining earth. But with climate change caused by unchecked human industrial activity, will that continue? Can earth and life, as we know them, sustain themselves? This is my central concern.
I look at Gaia as made up of the five elements of Land, Air, Water, Fire and Sky. In the first collection GAIA of the proposed series, I have concentrated on the element of Land, through the symbol of the tree, and evoked its pristine quality through the raw celebratory power of richly unique color.
My art perhaps subconsciously derives from my close association with Baba Amte and Medha Patkar in the Narmada Bachao Andolan (Save River Narmada Campaign). My focus is not pure aesthetics in terms of beauty alone, rather my aim is to establish an empathy for ‘the spirit of trees.'
While the above explains the socio-political context of my work, my first collection in the series GAIA also makes the history of modern art come alive as one makes associations through landscapes painted in the past centuries by the great European masters. This is my critical approach, introspecting memory, delving into it for a personal interpretation, in which images of landscapes from the past also embody cultural memory. Despite my postmodern approach in looping to tradition in representing Nature, mine is a narrative of quest, a search for belonging, for finding identity through expression.