ART Jeetin Rangher and Katarina Rasic draw attention to man’s conflicting relationship with nature in today’s urban landscape in their artwork

Man’s relationship with nature was explored from different perspectives in the recent presentation of artwork by Jeetin Rangher and Katarina Rasic at Gallery Sumukha.

The event was part of the Green World Art Festival initiated by Jeetin, a Bangalore-based artist.

“The Green World Art Festival is my dream and my vision. The aim of the festival is to bring all art forms, including painting, sculpture, dance, music or even poetry on one platform. The idea is to invite different artists to break out of their boundaries or orthodox ways of working and collaborate with each other,” says Jeetin. “This time, the theme was ‘Tree and Life’”.

One of the collaborative pieces in the festival involved creating a large jute web suspended between two trees in the Valley School, the venue of the exhibition. Creepers were then planted on the ropes.

“Whenever someone touches any part of the rope, the whole web vibrates. So through this piece we are trying to communicate that the universe is like a web and we are not looking at how the whole web is violently vibrating because of our interventions in nature. We think we are not part of the web,” explained Jeetin in a presentation showcasing his artwork.

The presentation also showcased his work in Delhi, Orissa and Kashmir, where he is involved in various collaborative art projects. Though he began his career in art as a painter, Jeetin later started experimenting with performance art, especially during the Art Karavan festival that toured around 10 cities in North India. Jeetin has worked extensively on collaborative projects involving artists from across the world.

Jeetin also works with local communities in Kashmir, apart from conducting performance art projects in the streets of Kashmir.

“I go there every year to teach art and conduct workshops, mainly in schools, because there is no concept of art in Kashmir,” he says. “The whole point of my performance artwork is public involvement and Kashmir is not known for performance art.”

In fact that is the objective of performance art for him, since the viewer cannot be part of the work in a painting. Jeetin also participated in two performance art pieces at the gallery yesterday.

In the first piece, titled “Contour of Life”, he and Katarina simultaneously drew on a sheet of paper while looking into each others eyes. “The idea behind this is that, as you look into the other person’s eyes, you start looking into yourself.”

The second performance piece, led by Katarina, involved writing on used cardboard boxes. Each box carried a word relating to the theme of the city or nature, on which the audience was asked to come and write anything related to the word on the box. Meanwhile Katarina constantly switched the location of the boxes, dismantled and rebuild them to represent the constantly changing urban landscapes.

Katarina is a Serbia-based artist who largely works with recycled materials..

“Art is a way to protect environment and to inspire people to make something beautiful out of garbage. My artwork is mostly ecologically oriented and based on use of recycled materials. The main part of my artwork is recycled fashion or dresses made out of newspapers, plastic bags, vinyl and any other used object that gives me inspiration to make an artwork,” explains Katarina. “I also work in the field of painting and sculpture, where my works are largely inspired by the buildings in my hometown Belgrade. Through my paintings I try to express the fast-paced development of the city and the growing generation of waste.”