Artists work addresses environmental concerns :

Posted by-Kalki Team

As a part of the recently concluded international seminar on Environmental Consciousness in Current Indian Art organised by DakshinaChitra, city-based artist Parvathi Nayars solo show of photos and videos, Haunted by Waters is being showcased at the venue

In August 2016, writer and social activist Nityanand Jayaraman took a diverse group of friends — artists, lawyers, engineers, social scientists and journalists — to Ennore Creek. The oil refineries, coal-fired power plants, coal ash dykes and densely populated residential areas hemming the creek disgorge their effluents into the wetlands. The creek is dying a silent death and the eroding livelihoods and household economies of the regions fisherfolk mirrors the degradation of the creek. Parvathi was part of this tour.

“The show is a response to many immediate environmental anxieties, whether the pollution of our rivers or the devastating floods in Chennai or the acknowledgement that man causes many of these disasters by ruthlessly exploiting the land and its waters; destroying in the process, the many safety mechanisms that nature herself had placed for draining the water or protecting the soil,” says Parvathi.

Working in parallel mediums, drawing, photography, video, sound, and installation, the artist engages with her environment through means that are simultaneously poetic, documentary, abstract and painstakingly real.

“The root cause of the disease afflicting the Ennore Creek is not legal, technical or economic. It is cultural — the manifestation of a culture that views the encroachment and decay of a waterbody as acceptable collateral in the march of development.

Water, waterbodies and wetlands are seen as inherently worthless. Parvathis photographs posit many provocative lines of enquiry. Art and artists as the architects of culture have a central role in highlighting the cultural malaise that pervades modern civilisation, and in re-introducing the much-needed connect between human society and nature,” says Nityanand.

“By juxtaposing photographic heterotopias, lens work and videos alluding to both explicit scientific record and implicit artistic response, Parvathis creative interventions provoke queries on how this sprawling wetland complex in a working-class area of north Chennai has been spoiled by industrial and residential pollution, with the public and private sector equally to blame, and if there is hope for change,” adds Kathryn Myers, organiser of the seminar.

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