K R Nariman
For me, love for the Earth and its children is difficult to separate from my art. As an artist, I respond to the world around me, as well as try to shape it, by raising awareness and encouraging critical thinking. I have always been an animal lover and have a profound appreciation of nature. So, inevitably, the issue that has engaged me most is the basket of critical interconnected ecological problems facing our planet: climate change, species loss, diminution of the Earth’s natural riches on land and sea, and how all this affects humans and animals. This is not a scenario that makes me give up in despair. Instead, my path is to try to contribute to the answers via my artworks, which shine a light on the problem and encourage a discussion about solutions.
The wellbeing of human society is inextricably connected to how we behave with other life on this planet. If polar ice melts and the seas rise, it is coastal residents who will be forced to migrate. As crops stop growing in heating climes, it is farmers who suffer. As forests and biodiversity decrease, so much that is precious to us – food, clean water, clean air – all are adversely affected. Increasing awareness about these matters is a crucial factor in bringing about change in the way people think and behave. It is the first step towards any meaningful transformation and the main reason I make these artworks.
In the last few years, the Covid pandemic simply added a new layer of urgency as well as hope to this body of work. Though we all witnessed so much suffering, we also saw dedicated and heroic efforts on part of civil society to help those in need, giving freely of money, time and energy. The role of the family has always been a given in times of trouble, but during Covid people would not have survived without the help of friends, neighbours and sometimes perfect strangers. This outpouring of help showed the deep reserves of care and compassion we hold in our hearts.
Exploring the human, the animal, and the plant worlds, these artworks explore how all life on Earth is deeply interconnected. A human being cannot live without other human beings, or without plant life and animal life. And a human being cannot aspire to a peaceful and happy existence – enjoying that indefinable element called ‘quality of life’ – without mutually nourishing relationships with other human beings and the natural world around. The best way for a person and for society to flourish on Earth lies in mutual cooperation and caring for those who share the planet with us. Now, in our recognition and appreciation of it lies our best hope for the future.
All the materials I use are recycled and all artworks are made by hand. The primary material is recycled bronze to make bronze sculptures. Additionally, from the paper used for my initial sketches to the metal, clay, plaster, wax and objects used in installations, everything is either being reused or recycled. At every stage of my creative process I strive to work with sustainable practices.