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Artist Ashish Kushwaha’s Tribute to his Inspiration – Nature: This Exhibition compels us to think about Present day Human Habits

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Nature (representative image). Pixabay

New Delhi, May 28, 2017: In a world dominated by urban sprawl with high-rises and rampant deforestation, birds and animals are suffering a loss of habitat which, in turn, adds up to a loss of inheritance. An exhibition here compels us to think about the present day human habits.

From the rhinos at Kaziranga to the magnificent deer with antlers that could very well re-imagine a map of boned abundance to a peacock sitting and watching bricks being tossed up, artist Ashish Kushwaha is an environmentalist at heart.

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His tribute to nature, “Inheritance of Loss” is on view at India International Centre till May 29 here.

The artist creates works that have an ecological echo.

While the works give us an urban overview of a landscape these are not pretty in the least.

They reflect the cruelty of large scale rampant deforestation and the race to develop grasslands into skyscrapers that banish wildlife species.

“Over the past five years, he has continually exposed the workings of urban development,” according to noted art curator Uma Nair.

Nair feels that the works look like as we are looking at urban metaphors.

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“These works on canvasses, as well as a few small watercolours, look at the loss of habitat for animals and birds in the face of vanishing forests and large scale development without a thought for species who are facing the reality of no place to exist,” she said.

For the artist, his paintings are silent conversations.

“I am always thinking of prakriti — of the earth as a planet in which there is harmony between animals and man. But what I see is very different and very difficult for me,” Kushwaha said.

“I believe that art must communicate. It must tell a story and it must have a message. Animals and birds and man – we’re two halves of a whole,” he added.

“Sometimes I feel at the rate at which we are moving we certainly won’t last forever,” he maintained.

As an artist, Kushwaha is making a commentary on the many high rises and in telling a story of shrinking space between animals and man.

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“Tomorrow this story will make history because we will be looking at the endangering and extinction of animals and birds because of our selfish habits,” he said.

“If my canvasses and watercolours tell the story, our story, a human story, then in a hundred years, they can be considered an art reference, when, like the sparrows, we will hardly see these beautiful birds and animals,” he added.

The exhibition questions contemporary realities and leaves viewers deeply disturbed because it is the beauty and magnificent monumentality of a rhinocerous from Kaziranga, a graceful deer and a rapturous peacock that will stir us out of our stupor. (IANS)

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Nature Therapy Can Reduce Distress, Behavioural Problems in Kids

The results give a new possibility for investigating the link between the outdoor environment and well-being in pre-school children

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Extreme distress increases risk for dementia: Study. Pixabay

Does your child often feel stressed and depressed? A walk in the woods is likely to improve his/her mood, researchers said.

The study, led by a team from the University of Hong Kong, revealed that children who developed a closer connection with nature had less distress, less hyperactivity and had a healthy lifestyle with regard to active play and eating habits.

They also had fewer behavioural and emotional difficulties, as well as improved pro-social behaviour.

However, despite the extensive, adjacent greenness, many families are not using these areas, the researchers rued in the paper published in the PLOS ONE journal.

“We noticed a tendency where parents are avoiding nature. They perceive it as dirty and dangerous, and their children unfortunately pick up these attitudes,” said Tanja Sobko from the University’s School of Biological Sciences.

Kids play skip rope on Morro Strand State Beach. Flickr

In addition, the green areas are often unwelcoming with signs like “Keep off the grass”, Sobko added.

Recent research shows that spending time with nature may bring many health benefits, and many environmental programmes around the world are trying to decrease ‘nature-deficit’ and ‘child-nature disconnectedness’ in order to improve children’s health.

For the study, the team prepared a new 16-item parent questionnaire (CNI-PPC) to measure “connectedness to nature’ in very young children. The questionnaire identified four areas that reflect the child-nature relationship: enjoyment of nature, empathy for nature, responsibility towards nature and awareness of nature.

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The results give a new possibility for investigating the link between the outdoor environment and well-being in pre-school children.

The team further plans to test the effect of exposing children to nature and changes in their gut microbiota. (IANS)