‘Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.’—Albert Einstein.
It’s surprising how we are conveniently ignoring the wisdom of centuries and constantly exploiting our environment and natural resources. The problems are multi pronged – from melting polar sheets to drastic climatic conditions, only man is to be blamed for this catastrophe. Combine that with lack of awareness and we get a potent mixture for destruction of all natural habitat. The future looks grim and scary.
Dibyush Jena, Bhubaneswar based muralist and illustrator took upon himself to create striking pieces of art about some of these issues and strategically place them amongst our surroundings to create new layers of meaning and initiate public dialogue.
1. The Encroaching
The painting is a striking contrast between trees and a blank patch of land. Look closely for another 5 minutes and you will see the face of a man with his mouth open – ready to gobble the trees. A metaphor for humans encroaching the lungs of the planet – the trees, just like cancer.
2. The Oil Swarm
An abstract depiction of the oil spills from ships and vessels which causes imbalance in our oceans. Oil spills pose the single most gravest challenge which affects marine life and bio-diversity.
3. Earth Bound
The cross and squares represent the new forces inhabiting the Earth – our homes, buildings, square plots which come at the cost of Earth. Acres of fields are cleared off to create space for ‘settlements’ or the so-called ‘homes’. However when you compare us against the background of the Galaxy (as done in the painting) – you will realize what we call home is a tiny speck of matter and there are deeper, more profound things to ponder and we have to look beyond just our home to understand the forces of nature.
4. The Submerging
A woman sinking into the depths, fully submerged shows how the rising water levels will pose a grave threat to the entire existence of mankind. When the time comes – Where will we run? Where will we hide? There is no running away from the wrath of mother nature, our submerging cities are proof enough.
5. The Eternal Whole
The circles represent equality. No organism – however micro or macro is more important than the other. The union of the circles and crosses relate to the Great Forces and shows us our place in the Universe. The circles also represent the Feminine form of Mother Earth. When we are the same, why do we impose our authority over our environment?
6. The dusk of Mankind
A middle finger to us humans from nature and a very well deserved one too! Few elements in the painting like the chopped fingers of the tree trunk and the setting sun is used beautifully to issue a warning to mankind urging us to end our insatiable greed to consume more!
A brilliant initiative to raise awareness, our new generation should definitely take the responsibility to help restore the balance we have tampered across the ages in the name of development. Let these paintings serve as a haunting reminder as to what over-consumption can do to our home – Planet Earth.
[Courtesy: Dibyush Jena and Soumya Sarthak Patnaik]