Art to the Rescue!

Arts & Culture Bangalore Environment

As complicated science theories fail to attract the attention of the people, the artwork is used to highlight environmental change and its consequences.

By Jignasa Sinha

Bangalore, March 28, 2019: Climate change is real and artists in Bangalore have come up with innovative art exhibitions, public installations, and music and dance festivals to make art environmentally-friendly. One of the motives behind this is to use ecological lenses so that the people can see environmental changes and the damage human has caused to the planet-  resulting in deforestation, global warming, pollution, etc.

The artwork is created to not only spread awareness but also to make the issues surrounding climate change easier for people to understand. Climate-based theories and research by scientists and professors often is misunderstood by people or is considered complex and boring; art makes everything seems simpler. Conservation of wildlife and forests has become an important subject for artists since the ecological balance is disturbed by the decline in some species.

Venumadhav Bhat, a city-based filmmaker said, “Bangalore is a city with numerous issues and the authorities are not doing much about it. I have partnered with several institutions, like the Bangalore International Art Festival (BIAF) and theatre groups to create plays that focus on the ill-effects of climate change on society.”

“The Bellandur Lake has long been ignored and is highly polluted now; I made a short film on this subject which was appreciated on YouTube by many viewers.” (The lake in question has been on fire several times in the past, due to the combustion of highly polluting residuals and garbage on the surroundings.)

The city has several galleries and many of them are now participating to combat the dire consequences of pollution, water shortage, drug abuse. etc… Joseph K, who runs the Third Eye Art Gallery, says, “We recognise global environmental challenges and the significant role of art that can be used to show people the change in their surroundings. We used artworks that portraying major transition in a landscape in less than 10 years by  “before and after” comparative pictures.”

One of the other issues that have been highlighted by artists is the ignorance of authorities towards farmers and agriculture in Karnataka. Akshay Heblikar, an environmentalist says, “Most of the farmland across North Karnataka is barren, there’s hardly any rainfall in this state and people have to conserve water to sustain. Art should not only be restricted to cities but should be brought to villages so that everyone can resolve their issues by making the public aware. Art is a great tool and has a wider reach than any other medium.”

Street art is one of the forms of art which has been used to spread social messages across the world. Famous street artists like Hendrick Beikirch have come to Bangalore to paint the walls near metro stations and universities to gather the attention of the citizens towards social and environmental issues.

Picture credits: Gayatri SA

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