One of Asia’s biggest arts and crafts festival Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival (KGAF) has gone green. The arts festival, which is organized every year in Mumbai, has the theme of sustainability written all over it. The emphasis is so much so that the event is being termed the green revolution moment of Indian arts. Even called Hara Ghoda, the festival has sections showcasing some green element or the other. The visual arts section features a number of installations which portray various elements of nature.
“It is heartening to see this year’s focus on sensitizing people about ecology, as well as raising awareness about this need to protect the Mother Earth and the planet,” says Shrishti, a stall owner who has been participating at the event for several years and is a KGAF regular.
Art installations showing environment and sustainability: Kala Ghoda Arts Festival
At the Rampart Row is a row of installations. Among them is the Tree60 Degrees, which has been created by four artists. The piece represents a concrete jungle which grows out of a big tree trunk. The nests of weaverbirds have been strewn on the ground. A toy railway track is shown going into the bark as a miniature train zooms in and out. The installation has proved to be a huge crowd puller.
“I just love this art installation. To me it represents the current scenario all across the world. It shows that concrete jungles together with development are destroying nature and environment,” says Ushi Fatma, an environmentalist, who has stayed in Mumbai for several years and makes it a point to visit the crafts festival every year it is organized.
Little Pockets of Hope
A little up ahead is another art installation by artist Ritu Dua called Little Pockets of Hope. This one is basically a clump of artificial trees which has been created through the use of twigs and branches, which has been sprinkled with birds that have made out of seed pods.
“I gathered the materials during my morning and evening walks in Navi Mumbai. It is hand made,” says Dua. “On every branch, I have stitched quite a number of used tea bags, which have been stuffed with seeds as well as fairy lights. The installation glows in the evening.”
“I love the way waste material has been turned into art,” says Samira Gilani, mother to 12-year-old Ayesha. “This will hopefully encourage children to reduce waste at home and be environment friendly.”
I Need Some Air
This is a 20 foot box, which has been lined with potted plants in vertical rows. It invites visitors to walk in and have some fresh air.
Rawness Is Richness
Then there is an installation called Rawness Is Richness, which has been put up by artist Ruchi Sheth. It is a V-shaped geometric structure that has been created using glass bangles. Viewed from some specific angles, the installation looks like the portrait of a woman.
“I want to focus on feminine energy, and nothing can signify it better than the rawness of a rural woman. I have used around 40,000 bangles in order to create the structure,” says Sheth.
This year’s theme of environment and sustainable also finds space at the various culinary tracks too. These have a special focus on using local ingredients as well as lesser-known vegetables, creative use of left-over food and reducing kitchen waste. KGAF is actually the mother of all platforms as it tries to bring together a whole range of artistic communities and associations from across India. With the theme of sustainability, the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival has been a hit with the crowds this time.
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