Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter

Sachin George Sebastian's artwork. IANS

He calls the art of cutting paper meditative. He smiles that whenever he starts doing that, it is tough to take him away.

For Bangalore-based artist Sachin George Sebastian, whose latest show, ‘Once, there was a seed’ at Vadehra Art Gallery in the capital concluded recently, the fascination for the medium started when he came across a pop-up book in a second-hand book store in Bangalore. “That was the first time that I was something like that, and it left me stunned. I kept wondering how can something three-dimensional come out of a book…”

Follow NewsGram on Twitter to stay updated about the World news.

Talking about his latest exhibition, which showcased drawings and sculptures made using paper and steel, the artist who showed last in 2015 (also at Vadehra) said that that was the year his first baby was born, and he started questioning the purpose — of everything. “What is my purpose as an artist, human being, a parent, how do I balance life and work? Every year brings a set of new experiences, the focus keeps shifting and newer thoughts take priority. For the past five-six years, I have been drawing a lot.”

In fact, Sebastian was supposed to hold an exhibition in April last year but that could not materialize owing to the pandemic.

Sachin George Sebastian calls the art of cutting paper meditative. IANS

Being a hands-on person, the artist also has also employed his skill-set beyond paper art, said, “At one point of time, I also did a freelance project in Jaipur for a paper company wherein I made all the products collapsible, so they could be shipped in a large quantity together. Besides, I was applying this paper-engineering technique into other products and things.”

Now settled in Bangalore, he wants to tell stories using those techniques, outside the book format. While he keeps working with paper as an artist, he also explores other materials.

Talk to him about his work in steel, and the artist says that white paper has become the material for him to consistently explore more, considering its tactility and texture, it becomes framed in a box. “Like, a wooden box — you can’t feel the texture anymore. Fifty percent of the world’s steel is used for making buildings, in construction. So, when I make work out of steel, I can have it outside the frame. This time, I feel I was finally able to get the texture, frame, and fluidity that I get out of paper into steel.”

ALSO READ: Illustrating Social Narratives

Originally from Kerala, the urban landscape has always found a prominent place in his works. “My journey has taken me to Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Jaipur, and Delhi. And then going for projects in Gurgaon. And you know, other than this scale that the cityscape boasts of, there’s also a big difference in people — from city to city. And that fascinates me. How does the city affect people living in its embrace? Everyone complains about their existence in the city but people keep coming to it. And I couldn’t understand this. It’s not so easy living there, but it provides for them. It is something very beautiful. In my previous works, it is more like a carnivorous flower. Like, it attracts its prey, and finally consumes them – but it’s not chaotic. That is what I was trying to refer to from government paperwork earlier. Sometimes, people complain about the wires getting entangled, and the streets. Isn’t it beautiful? Like, if you see a photo, you can immediately tell that — that’s from India. That’s not Dubai, or anywhere else.”

Stressing that he is essentially a storyteller who tells tales through his visuals, “Stories force us to imagine. I read and write. However, there are things that I just cannot express in words. Guess that is why I started making visuals, became a visual storyteller.” (IANS/KB)


Wikimedia Commons

The most popular version of the rhyme/lullaby

As children, singing the rhyme Rock A Bye Baby was a fun thing to do. It was a statement of thrill and adventure to imagine a child climbing to the top of a tree and rocking to sleep. Especially in the Indian context, rocking a baby to sleep by attaching the cradle to the tree is quite a common thing. But the origin of this rhyme, or lullaby, seems rooted in other histories.

The most popular notion associated with this lullaby is of women leaving their babies tied to tree branches, rocking to sleep with the wind. It is believed that at the time this lullaby was written, it was inspired by a coloniser who saw the Native American women tie their children in birch bark cradles to the trees. The babies went to sleep rocked by the gusts of wind while the parents went about their tasks.

Keep Reading Show less

This image released by Disney Theatrical Productions shows, from second left, Michael James Scott as Genie, Michael Maliakel as Aladdin, and Shoba Narayan as Jasmine after a performance of the Broadway musical "Aladdin" in New York on Sept. 28, 2021

As kids growing up in different states, Shoba Narayan and Michael Maliakel shared a love of one favorite film — "Aladdin." Both are of Indian descent, and in the animated movie, they saw people who looked like them.

That shared love has gone full-circle this month as Narayan and Maliakel lead the Broadway company of the musical "Aladdin" out of the pandemic, playing Princess Jasmine and the hero from the title, respectively.

Keep Reading Show less

Bottles of Jack Daniel's whiskeys are displayed at Rossi's Deli in San Francisco

Jack Daniel's is the world's most popular whiskey brand, but until recently, few people knew the liquor was created by Nathan "Nearest" Green, an enslaved Black man who mentored Daniel.

"We've always known," says Debbie Staples, a great-great-granddaughter of Green's who heard the story from her grandmother. … "He made the whiskey, and he taught Jack Daniel. And people didn't believe it … it's hurtful. I don't know if it was because he was a Black man."

Keep reading... Show less