New year began with two invites for Artologue and we were able to paint at both the places in the very first month of the year.
First invite was from Jaipur where Artologue was invited to lecture about/ share our journey with colours in past 4 years. The programme was on ‘Save the Girl Child’ and according to the data, Rajasthan govt has been doing some commendable work in this area.
We decided to combine work with lecture and they readily agreed for it.
We went with the usual colours but while on the train we decided to do something new at the venue. We had basic idea what we were going to create but ‘how’ was not very clear. We also knew that the participation would not be huge because it was a government event.
We had to go for something visually engaging to make up for the lack of physical engagement.
Mee&Jey went looking for possible material on the roads of Jaipur market. Meenakshi collected the cut-aways (katran) from the tailors. The tailors enquired for this seemingly ‘insane act of collecting thrown away pieces of cloths’.
Meenakshi had a brilliant idea of creating art from waste that became evident when the work took final shape.
When we started to assemble our stuff at the designated area, the organiser were laughing about our sack full of waste fabric (katran). Jey tried to explain the idea to the organisers but art cannot be explained in words unless it is already created.
Jey was a bit worried because for the first time he had little idea about what Mee was going to create.
Jey diligently documented the whole thing….taking pictures, helping Meenakshi select the big scrap of clothes which she put on the canvas in a way only she could understand.
After a point, Jey was observing Meenakshi from a distance, offering her water and snack occasionally. People started walking in, stared at the heaps of colours fabrics, Meenakshi engrossed in selecting usable pieces, cutting and sticking on 7X7 feet canvas. Meenakshi was in her artistic zone where no one could disturb her and the best work comes out when she works in that way.
Finally the work started taking final shape. On the blank canvas a face emerged in black hairs..then green top and red skirt. It was difficult to imagine that the scrap of clothes could be put in such a way.
Meenakshi explained the philosophy behind the work. In many societies girls survive on what is left and still they become beautiful and strong. If they are given the best resources to grow, them what wonders can they achieve. So it is in the best interest of the society to save girls.
Normally Meenakshi doesn’t speak much about her works and let the work speak for itself. Though this time she decided to explain it to the people who wondered about the work.
While she was working, lot of people offered help and some of them helped as well. The work took around six hours to complete and Meenakshi still feels that she needs to work some more on the canvas.
In between the work, Meenakshi went and gave her scheduled lecture and the organisers were amazing to show the almost completed work during the lecture.
It was a new beginning in the new year with the girl made of scrap. Our new year beginning couldn’t have been better than this. The work will be displayed at Jawahar Kala Kendra soon as told by the organisers.
We came back to Delhi in a hurry as we had to paint again after two days near Delhi. You will read that story shorty till then enjoy the Girl out of Scraps.
PostScript- While we finish the painting one of the peons sitting near the painting for the whole time got too impressed. he enquired about every bit and asked finally who will take this painting. We said it is for the organisers to decide. We went for the lecture and when we came back, the painting was nowhere. No one knew who took it. We came back to Delhi and had no idea about what happened to it. after frantic calls and enquiries we got to know that the peon has wrapped it up and kept it safe as he has finished his duty. He stored the painting safely as a goodwill gesture but our hearts stopped thinking that it got stolen.
**The painting is safe in Jaipur with the organisers.