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Title:        "Someday" Sculpture show of Ratna Gupta

Dates:      14th March - 5th April 2009

RootsÖthe title says it all. In all ways possible and some more. I was driving down the road between Mehboob studio and Khoja florist, Bandra, and there on the opposite side of the road, was this huge root. The BMC had dug it out to widen the road, all for the better of city and society. I have come to accept that explanation and have become the many, who turn a blind eye due to pure exhaustion. So, simply put, this huge tree had been cut down to widen the road, the root dug out and discarded. The bark and all its branches had been taken away, Iím hoping, to be used for some other purpose rather than join our mountains of waste. What irked me the most was that the roots had been left behind. I calmed myself and gave mankind the benefit of doubt and told myself that they would probably be back to collect itÖwhich obviously they didnít do.

Itís a beautiful work of art all by itself and just looking at it gave me a sense of strength and history. I went up and down for 10 days and everyday I stopped there, stared at it, touched it and had many melodramatic conversations with the nearby watchmen on the apathy of all that is human. Finally, I gave in to all my instinctive urges and picked it up and took it at my fabricators. Unfortunately it was way too big for my studio space. And now I am in the process of casting it. A memory of all that we might lose and all that I hope we remember. Passing it everyday, it made me feel immensely sad. Very very sadÖ kind of disheartening.

I am inclined towards the melodrama and melancholy. All my work comes out of strong emotion, instinct, anger and some stubbornness. It showed to me what our society has become. A disregard for our heritage, for the old, for all that was given to us. And now that itís use is gone, we throw it away. We use the young and discard the old. That was also the time that our prestigious and well-written newspapers were carrying articles on children throwing their old parents and grandparents out of their homes. That had probably made a huge impression on my little brain. But other than that, itís a disregard for our environment, nature, the earth. We were taught to call her mother earth. Öand what do we do? Dig her up, widen our roads, so more cars can make our lungs ever so healthy, our skin glow with freshness, take away the wood, the part that is apparently strong and healthy and throw away itís source, the roots. And thatís what we do to our parentage today. Just because they are old, does not mean that they have no use. The image of that tree root left on the side of the road, showed to me the state of our society, in all aspects of growth and decline.


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