‘Requiem’ draws attention to climate change & the slow demise of birds

 ‘Requiem’ draws attention to climate change & the slow demise of birds

Rajkumari Sharma Tankha

Her mother’s artistic endeavours and her passion for creativity ignited a desire in Sarika Bajaj to take to arts. “Growing up (in Ghaziabad) I helped my mother sew, she excelled in knitting, crochet and stitching, all of which encouraged me to pursue art and develop an artistic style of my own,” she says.
She is having her show Requiem that spotlights artworks created using bird quills – quills that she collected from all over Mumbai. The collection – photographs, videos, wall hangings and a stunning sculpture made of ropes – draws attention to climate change and the slow demise of this species.

Multi-disciplinary Artist Sarika Bajaj

Crafting earthy, abstract topographies is no mean task. So, there are days when Sarika loses the sense of time engrossed in a single piece of art, but there also are those days when she works in spurts – taking breaks to rest, reflect and gather information.
Sarika attributes her use of feathers to the place birds have in mythology and their ritual presence in indigenous cultures around the world.
Excerpts from an interview:

Please share something about your forthcoming show -Requiem. How many works are there and how much time did you take to complete them?
Requiem pays homage to sacred nature and the winged creatures who continue to fight for their survival in the threatened conditions worldwide. It serves as a somber reminder of the consequences of our actions on the planet. The show features works in diverse media and comprises a sculpture, feather tapestries ,video, photographs and a performative garment. I have spent more than two years preparing for this body of work.

Collecting feathers and then turning those into jute tapestries is quite time-consuming. What motivated you to do this ? How much time did you take to complete one such work.
It is a labour intensive process and there is a lot of emphasis on the procedure of creation, depending upon the size and the time spent it can take anywhere between a month and up to few months to generate one artwork. It stems from this desire to convey something meaningful and distinctive from these naturally discarded bird feathers. Having deep affinity toward the natural world, these works are build around symbolism of bird feathers and notions of survival of both human and other living beings.

The show is a mix of wall hangings, photos, videos, and rope sculptures… So how did you pick and choose what to display? Is there an underlying theme that you worked on?
Each work in the show is unique but is connected to the other work and tied to an underlying theme.While choosing the works for an exhibit many factors are considered such as the size, medium and scale of work. These distinct works come together as a cohesive whole. My works address the complex relationship we share with our environment and highlights ecological issues like climate change and habitat loss.

What message are you trying to send across this show?
These works reflect on the fragility of nature and humankind’s relationship to environment and can be interpreted many varied ways, they also reflect themes of transformation and renewal.

Who do you consider as your ideal, among the artist?
There are many renowned and inspiring artists creating thought provoking work across various mediums. I admire Mrinalini Mukherjee for her very distinct style.

What are your other interests, hobbies?
I enjoy travelling and practice yoga regularly

Will you be taking this show elsewhere in the city or to other cities?
As of now the show is only local, it’s running at Anupa Mehta Contemporary Art till 30th April. That gives people plenty of time to discover and visit.

AT Anupa Mehta Contemporary Art, 58 Wodehouse
Road, Colaba tomorrow (April 23) 


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