By Y.S. RANA ,CHANDIGARH—Another Nek Chand (Rock Garden fame) is on the making can be said about 62-year-old Chander Kanta who masters herself in creating so much art from the waste.
Chanderkanta, belongs to Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, married in a small village Tikker on the Una-Hamirpur highway in Tehsil Barsar of district Hamirpur, carved a niche for herself in art gallery of the region. She held her 10-day, biggest exhibition “Art of Waste” at the Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, Chandigarh, from December 1-10 where she has displayed 1000 of her creations.
Displayed at the exhibition of her creations from waste included hand pots made out of cardboard, handbags made out of jute and old tattered clothes, baskets of newspapers and paper rolls, flowers of polythene and much more.
While talking to her she said that since my childhood she was a very eco-friendly. “I have an urge to create beautiful artifacts from different waste materials like cardboard, tyres, tubes, plastic waste, empty bottles, can, cups, wedding cards, wires, old clothes, waste paper, polythene bags and beads.” she said
During schooling whatever waste material she found in her surrounding she collected it and recycled to produce something useful and beautiful. “Waste that is thrown out of the house to keep them clean, the same waste can decorate your house,” she said.
Studied up to intermediate, she came to Chandigarh in 1958 along with her husband, Krishan Das Sharma who has retired as SDO from PGI, Chandigarh. Her husband is least concerned about her ‘love’ but her children always used to encourage her to move on the road less traveled.
“Art is an idea of open mind,” she said and stated that every morning she had a new idea and then she started giving shape to it. Initially, she made small items and gifts for her friends and daughters. She took it seriously five years ago when she held her first exhibition during Chandigarh Carnival where Nek Chand impressed by her works said, “You are going on my line.”
Mother of three daughters (married off) and a son who is doing engineering, Chanderkanta needs something to keep herself busy and an idea struck in her mind why not gives shape to waste materials that also helps to keep the environment pollution free.
Chanderkanta has started the Path Finder Club as well, where she is working towards keeping the environment clean. She is also a regular visitor to the Burail Jail in Chandigarh where she teaches her art to prisoners. She believes that art can divert the mind of criminal and provide a chance to them to work towards the betterment of the society. She claimed that she had taught this art to a number of lady prisioners.
Visit to the exhibition one just cannot stop looking for more stuff—pencil stands made out of coke cans and wool, wall hangings of egg trays, jewellery out of plastic and paper. EOM