Art in science

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EYE FOR DETAIL Parvathi Nayar
EYE FOR DETAIL Parvathi Nayar

Science fascinates artist Parvathi Nayar

In today's world of instant art, Parvathi Nayar feels like a bit of a rebel. For this Keralite and Singapore-based artist she spends hours on intricate renderings of the world's oldest art form — drawing. "I believe in emphasising the handmade in an obsessive way," says Parvathi.Drawing wasn't always her focus. In fact, as recently as 2003 when she went to London for her Masters in Fine Arts, she thought of drawing just as a preliminary step to painting. "The students and teachers there kept telling me what a good draftswoman I was," she says. "Seeing drawings as an end in themselves was a real breakthrough in my career."The subjects of her recent drawings are unusual — science. Parvathi has always been fascinated by science, from Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" to quantum theory and Schrodinger's Cat. She's no physicist, but science appeals to the artist in her as it is a different way of looking at the world. "There's so much beneath the surface that's fantastical if you only look at the world as it is," she says.And so, Parvathi began to collect varied macroscopic and microscopic scientific images, blew them up, and what she saw became the basis of her collection that was exhibited in Singapore and recently in Mumbai. Her detailed drawings range from images from the Hubble space telescope to trails of sub-atomic particles, within a circle representing the lens of a telescope or a microscope. An alumnus of the Stella Maris Fine Arts Department, Parvathi may have left for Singapore in the late 1980s, but returns frequently to her home base in Chennai. DIVYA KUMAR




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