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birbhum landscape-3

Intaz Ansari
Mixed Media 99 X 104 Inches Landscape
My work deals with the journey and struggle of the labour class in West Bengal, depicting their daily lives and experiences. My primary focus is hawkers and street vendors as my father belonged to this profession. I attempt at representing this life through the journey of my family and our surroundings. I chose my materials because I wanted to dabble in a labour intensive practice that resonated with my subject of interest. Hence, I began working with natural materials such as organic pulp, natural fibre, found objects and ephemeral matter from the landscape around me. I involve myself with this process so deeply that I follow it through entirely from start to finish by myself – collecting, experimenting and creating. The materials that I have used the most are banana stalk, sugar cane, bamboo leaf, pineapple leaf and tussar silk cocoon. In the process of creating pulp, I have discovered natural elements that substitute chemical agents and allow the artwork to stand the test of time. The act of being in conversation with my environment keeps me present with the world around me and my subjects. With this grant, I want to conduct a study in Bhirbhum area, a space I fell deeply in love with during my time at Santiniketan. I was very inspired by it’s fantastical landscapes and they have been significant in helping me develop my organic practice. During my six years there, I saw this beauty deteriorate rapidly. Furthermore, the journeys of the labour class are deeply impacted by their landscapes and with it’s destruction, their livelihoods are facing depletion. I want to conduct a study of this change, using my practice as a tactile response to what I see, feel and collect. I hope to spend two years engaging with this and create a thorough body of work that not only stands as my artwork, but it’s very nature stands as a representation of what the land gave me while it still could. I hope that with my work, people will be able to feel the connection I have with the environment and the people who survive off it. connection I have with the environment and the people who survive off it.
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