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All the print that is fit for art

Staff Reporter
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Creating news:Ramesh Babu with his newspaper art in front of the Public Library in Kozhikode.— Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup
Creating news:Ramesh Babu with his newspaper art in front of the Public Library in Kozhikode.— Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup

News gets stale easily, but newspapers don’t. Ramesh Babu, for instance, relies on the broadsheets as a medium of art.

He creates sculptures and reliefs from old newspapers, rivalling those made from traditional media. He exhibited some of these works here to mark Human Rights Day, drawing a crowd of curious onlookers.

He terms his work creative recycling. “The concept of creative recycling is not so popular in the country. It involves the creative use of things which are usually considered waste. The only ‘creative’ thing that we do with newspapers is using them as wrappers. So this is one way of changing that thinking,” Mr. Babu said.

The newspapers are made into circles, ellipses, rectangles and coils to create various forms. Newspaper colours are selected for each part to highlight it or to differentiate it.

A relief so designed depicts a human form as if the person is letting out a primal scream. Newspaper is not the only “waste” that Mr. Babu makes use of for his art. One recent experiment was using torn jeans to create collage-like paintings. He has also used old automobile parts and bearings to create various forms.

The use of waste materials is his way of criticising the contemporary trends in art and sculpture, where the value of art is equated with the monetary value decided by agents and bookies.

“The current practice is for the government to spend large sums of money on art works to be installed in public places. Though some of these are worth the money, many just contribute to draining the exchequer,” he said.


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