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Monday, Jul 29, 2002

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Recycled wonders

What can you do with old papers apart from selling them off to the raddiwaala for peanuts ? Well ... you can recycle it to create art pieces. For ages this art form has survived all over the world. Although it owes its origin to Egyptian and European artists, it has also been used widely by the Indian rulers in temple art, mask making and tribal artefacts. The exotic mythological masks of Thailand, Cambodia, Africa and even Orissa are marvels in their genre. Closer home, the animal head masks of the tribals of Araku are also Papier mache creations.

The on-going exhibition being organisied at The Park hotel is by art lover Roshan Fernando from Tuticorin. This 28-year-old artist is obsessed with paper and desires to create the finest art pieces with this material. He has chosen vegetable dyes and earthy tones on his shade sheet that lends a rustic, unfinished and raw look to his subjects. His hand-crafted artefacts include exotic flower vases, lamp shades of different shapes, grotesque and gargoyle-like masks, pretty picture frames and framed pictures.

Roshan uses the rough texture of traditional Papier mache as his canvas to create painted visuals. Different types of colors, enamels and oil paints bring out the special effects. The piece de resistance of the exhibition is the picture of an old man that Roshan has created in the framed item section.

While the artist is looking at coming back to this dreamy city to showcase some of his brand new ideas, he is also dabbling with a keen interest to export his creations into the world market. This interior designer has come a long way in experimental art and his steady hand compliments his creative instinct. The items are affordably priced from Rs. 250 for a flower vase upward. The plywood-based creations have a long life and the chemicals he uses to preserve the brittle material are safe to touch.

Papier mache art is a very simple idea with a very complicated execution. The exhibition will be on until July 31.

MEENAKSHI ANANTRAM

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