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Updated: January 10, 2013 17:38 IST

Empress of garbage

PRABALIKA M. BORAH
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FOR THE SAKE OF CONSERVING: Asher Jay with the painting of the
rhino on display at Muse art gallery
FOR THE SAKE OF CONSERVING: Asher Jay with the painting of the rhino on display at Muse art gallery

Asher Jay is more than just an artist, she makes the world aware of garbage recycling with great passion, writes Prabalika M. Borah

Asher is really fast. In her conversations. However, her discussions are stringed and not random chats. A conservationist, an artist, a model, a designer and an activist — Asher Jay, is driven with passion.

But why is her website called www.garbagea.com? “That’s a part of what I do. Garbage management is a part of recycling, conserving and caring for the planet. I am so much in love with garbage that my house almost looks like a garbage dump. I don’t allow my friends to discard anything because I want to make use of them in some way or the other in my art work or for my designs. In one such attempt I collected plastic bottles from my colony and coloured them and made each bottle represent a region and a cause,” says Asher.

Asher is in town to showcase her work at Muse art gallery in Marriott. A staunch supporter of animal rights, Asher’s work volume reflects her love for animals. She depicts poaching in a very intelligent way in her two-tone works. The one where she draws attention about Rhino poaching is a wonderful piece of work with the horns missing.

In another canvas, Asher uses pieces of white satin cloth to create a canvas on polar bear amidst snow. The collage work with the use of discarded satin cloth pieces is like an indication of the soft and silky feel of the polar bear which are being hunted down by human beings. “As a staunch supporter of animal rights, wildlife conservation, and sustainable development, I make sure I use all the creative faculties to spark an engaging visual discourse for the audiences across the globe,” she says and also clarifies that Garbagea is not just a website. “That’s my country, I have founded it and it is called The United Flotsam of Garbagea.” Asher also loves making public appearances as Garbagea’s Dump Dictator for Life and Ill-Will Ambassador to educate audiences of various age groups about the cultural mores and civic obligations embraced by citizens of her plastic provinces.

Asher’s long list of degrees which she pursued one after the other made her friends wonder if she would ever be out of school? But she made sure she put all her degrees to right use. Asher loves telling how a holiday trip of hers to the coral reef ended her up as a garbage collector and she decided to make a difference with one voice. “I don’t believe that a single voice cannot make a difference. When I was at Coral reef, I would go out with my snorkelling gear and pick garbage and at the end of my holiday I was able to clean up more than I thought. Something similar happened when I went to Africa. I not only cleaned but also engaged the jungle resort staff to do the same. I made such a ruckus to see that they are strict in their garbage handling policy that they made sure they were prepared for me the following day.”

Going back to her works on canvas, Asher says she mostly paints keeping in mind an issue. Quiz her and she will rattle out figures of poaching and depleting climatic conditions like mentioning days of a week.

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