Friday, April 30, 2010

Many mediums, one message

Bringing climate change to attention artistically
Camp end: SAARC artist with the NEC officals
SAARC Art Camp 30 April, 2010 - A picture paints a thousand words and if its messages are absorbed and heeded, the world would have become a far more seeing, more hearing and, above all, more feeling one.

Despite the splashes of colours – green, blue, red, black and yellow – all depicting our immediate environment, that 19 artists from the SAARC member nations used, they all carried one message, impacts of climate change.

The SAARC art camp, which began from April 19, was initiated as a side event for the summit. The artists used their talents to express their views on issues of climate change. Sudath Abeysekara from Sri Lanka painted a picture of a tornado destroying almost everything in its path, leaving a landscape bereft of life and exposed under the intense heat of the sun. 
“That’ll be our fate if we don’t act fast,” he said.
People, who watched the artists at work, first see them sketch vague outlines on a paper, before finally painting on the canvas, bringing light and life to the work through their portrayal of vivid images etched in their minds.
Sareena Khemka from India even used charcoal and sand in her painting to depict the adverse effects of fire turning the forest into soot and ashes, as it devoured trees and life forms on its way.
While most artists used material such as acrylic for their painting, Dr Mohammad Yousof Asefi from Afghanistan used oil paintings, which, he said, gave his art life. “It takes about two weeks for the oil paint to dry completely, but I love using it,” he said.
Of the 42 paintings, about 30 were painted in Thimphu, which were donated to national environment commission.
The SAARC artist camp concluded yesterday. All artists received certificates for their contributions and participation in the camp.  
“The ideas and exposure I gained from the group of visiting artists has been of immense help should I decide to continue the trade,” Rinchen Wangdi, who has been an artist for 11 years, said. “For the first time Bhutan is experiencing new media art, installation and video art.”

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