A very happy new year to all of you!
Year 2015 was very special for me.
I have plans to bring to you new inspiring talents along with new products.
Birds have always been my inspiration and today I am introducing to you the very talented artist ‘Niharika Rajput’.
It was somewhere in 2012, when I met her first while working in People Tree.
She is young and doing a great job to promote conservation of birds through her sculpting talent.
Here’s presenting ‘Winged’ by Niharika,
AK : Tell us something about yourself.
NR : I am a visual artist and a creative conservationist based in New Delhi , India. My work solely rests on my love for nature and it’s sublime creations.Having been born in Arunachal Pradesh and traversing various mountain terrains helped me establish an inextricable bond with nature and wildlife , which has fondly grown into my passion for conserving our endangered wildlife.
My intention is to lend a creative voice to those who cannot speak for themselves and save them from disappearing in the age of the Anthropocene.
AK : How did you come up with the idea of ‘Winged’?
NR : Getting “Winged” is a tag for attaining social, mental and physical responsibility to restore our damaged wildlife and their habitat and to help re-integrate our immediate environment.
It is an entire process which can be best experienced in the workshops conducted by me. My workshops are only a stepping stone towards a much larger mission at hand.
The curriculum entails spreading awareness , constructing various bird species , introduction to bird feeders and houses, talks , documentary screenings and introduction to the idea of becoming citizen scientists and bird-sleuths.
Another aspect of “Winged” deals with fundraising for various NGO’s working for the conservation of endangered birds , through my bird sculptures.
AK: ‘Birds’ How do they inspire you?
NR: I had been constructing birds for over two years before I actually saw a flock of Red billed blue magpies taking off from a tree in Himachal Pradesh and it struck a chord in me that is still playing.
It only pushed me to dig deeper and the more I did the more fascinated I got with the nature of these species.
Birds are one of the most beautiful creatures on Earth and I deeply admire their colours , patterns , iridescence , shape and size. But it’s really their intelligence , wisdom , creativity and loyalty that inspires me.
Birds are great architects , their nests in itself are beautiful works of art, they are great parents and partners too.
Birds are the only creatures that traverse four of the five elements of life , namely Air, water,fire,sky and Earth so presumably they are the most learned ones.
AK: What material do you usually use to make these beautiful birds?
NR: I use regular epoxy also know as M-seal , wire and archival paper to construct my bird sculptures.
AK : Have you ever made a bird out of your thoughts, your ‘fantasy bird’?
NR: Yes , I have but only in sketches.Having said that I strongly believe that birds exist in the most magnificent characters on Earth and it would be hard to believe that anything I fantasize about doesn’t already breathe on Earth.
AK : Which is your favorite bird?
NR : That’s a tough one , they are all beautiful for different reasons but the Purple Sunbird is my absolute favourite. Everytime I am greeted by a display of it’s iridescence I am thrilled.
AK : Apart from birds, what are the other things, you like to create as a visual artist/sculptor?
NR : My outlook towards life is very creative so apart from birds and my artworks I love to experiment with jewellery, clothes , footwear etc. I love to convert scrap into art.
AK : Lastly, Where do you see yourself and Winged in coming time? What are your plans to spread the wings of ‘Winged’?
NR : Art has always been used as a medium to address social, political and economic issues but nature and wildlife have always found an effortless way of being depicted either in an abstract form or in a more realistic form.Through Winged my aim is to provide a platform where art can translate into some concrete measures taken at an individual level to reverse the damage.
Living in the age of the anthropocene , our environment demands more attention than ever before. I see Winged translating into a much larger community of people who will work together to save all that’s on the brink of extinction.