Sculpture | Visual Art | India

Installations | Drawings | Sculpures

Concept Note:

Nature these days is a rarefied commodity. From clean air being sold in jars to eco trails and nature resorts – it all comes neatly packaged with catchy buzz words to indulge our consumerist attitudes. It is very trendy to go “off the grid”. It’s very holier than thou to buy paraben-free cosmetics or shop at organic farmers’ markets. A piece of nature brought into the apartment or a weekend farm trip every now and then quiets our conscience so that we may go on burdening the land, river, ocean and air with our insidious existence.
The backdrop of this series The Golden Bough and other stories from the Landfill is the relevance and sanctity of natural elements and natural objects in our post-industrialized hyper-consumerist economies. The foreground is the inevitable tussle between biodegradable objects and non-biodegradable materials that are so firmly entrenched in our daily lives. I’m beginning to see the prolific use of non-biodegradables as a manifestation of our desire for immortality. A way to go on living, vicariously, for 450 years through the materiality of the plastic beverage bottle since it takes that long to decompose and disappear off the face of the earth.
Turmeric, an intensely organic material rich in color and metaphor proved to be an inspiring starting point for this body of work. From there I walked down many paths negotiating questions about ecological sustainability, paganism, climate change; the ironies of tokenism; the dilemmas of clean energy and the dynamics of urban-rural hybrids; and journeyed back through the maze to square one to face more questions. Can art objects made with discarded non-biodegradable materials reduce the burden on landfills? Can the aesthetic repurposing of dead trees sensitize and nurture the cycle of awareness? Is deification of natural elements a useful philosophy?

- Romi Revola | Bangalore | 2015