The figurative sculptures by artist Seema Singh Dua attempt, above all, to recreate the vibrancy of nature. The show, Nurturing Hands, at Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi, which Dua’s sculptures are part of, asks the viewers to ponder over their relationship with Mother Earth.

The sculpture titled  Reader (2) shows the figure of a man in a suit reading a book. The man is seated on a bench and appears to be in a park. Despite dressed in formal attire, his shoelaces are undone and butterflies are seen perched over the book he is reading. He seems to smile softly. The overall scene gives the impression that the person is unwinding himself after a long day at work. In this fibre piece, which is given a bronze finish, the artist has been successful in introducing the viewers to the soothing powers of nature. 

“I think each one of us should have at least one activity that puts our minds at ease,” says Dua. “It is very important to take a breather and enjoy the life beyond usual work. Our lives are precious and we should inculcate a habit or two to observe the simple joys of life. There are many leisurely pursuits one can choose from. It is not necessary to excel in those but one should practice it to be in tune with your inner self. It is important and okay to leave the world behind sometimes.”

Dua learned the art of sculpture from Triveni itself in 2002, and holds a background in textile designing. She also conducts sculpture workshops in the city.

“I think each one of us should have at least one activity that puts our minds at ease,” says Dua. “It is very important to take a breather and enjoy the life beyond usual work. 

The artist is a staunch believer in the virtues of working away from home. “It stimulates my creativity,” says Dua. “Working at some other place away from home; be it in just one room or a full-fledged studio, gives wings to the creativity. It develops the art practice to a great level. At home, you tend to postpone the work as you get busy in regular mundane jobs. In studio, you are on your own. There is no disturbance. There is a constant upsurge in creativity as you are entirely in sync with your work and studio lets you be in that space.”

Dua believes in constant learning which would help her practice. For the same reason she once attempted an arts exam for the bachelor’s in arts programme at Delhi College of Art in 2013. “I was 49 then,” says Dua. “Of course, I didn’t clear it but I still cherish the experience of sitting among the young crowd and talking to them post the exam.” 

The artist also admires the help of welders for her work and again tries to grasp the nuances of the craft from them. “These cuts surrounding the leaves,” says Dua pointing to another of her sculptures, “are done by welders and they complete the work in no time with the help of tools. The slicing is just according to what I wanted and I have learned so much from them.”

In the future, the artist plans to create her next series by using steel as the medium. “Steel fascinates me as an artist. I really would like to experiment with this medium and would try to finish it sometime in the following year,” says Dua.

Nurturing Hands is on view at Triveni Gallery, Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi till 12 July


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