Nibha Sikander’s Wandering Violin Mantis Mimics the Versatility of Nature through the Medium of Paper

The exhibition is on display till January 4, 2020 at the TARQ Gallery, Mumbai, India.

Wandering Violin Mantis, 2019

Nibha Sikander’s first solo exhibition Wandering Violin Mantis is being presented by the TARQ Gallery, Mumbai, India. In this exhibition, Sikander expands on her growing practice of looking at and recreating various species from nature, some real and some imagined. The artist uses layer upon layer of intricately cut out paper to create form after form of moths, mantises and birds, each one meticulously assembled in her studio in Murud-Janjira.

Insect Series 1, 2019

This exhibition focuses on Sikander’s observations of a variety of insects and other creatures that surround her. Fascinated by nature since childhood, and more particularly since moving to her current home, the artist began experimenting with making birds in her medium of choice – paper. The paper, according to her, mimics nature in its versatility – soft, stiff, malleable and flexible, almost like wings, feathers and antennae. In some of her works, Sikander delves deeper into her engagement with her subjects, deconstructing, and even abstracting the individual elements of the bird or insect that she is recording.

House Sparrow, 2019

In his catalogue essay, Ranjit Hoskote says of Nibha’s work “Wrought with unerring accuracy, and with a heightened attentiveness to delicate and often elusive detail, Sikander’s moths and birds testify to the dazzling enchantment of the natural world as well as to the magic of taxonomic science. Presented in segments, as a row of disjecta membra laid out from wing to beak and head, her birds make a graphic transition from field guide to portrait gallery. They come across, not primarily as representatives of a species, but as sharply individual denizens of a world menaced by predators, surly winds, changing weather patterns.”

Moth Series 3, 2019

Nibha Sikander currently works and lives in Murud-Janjira and Mumbai, India. She has done her Bachelors in Visual Arts (2006) and a Masters in Visual Arts (2008), both specialising in painting, from the Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara, India. She has taken part in residencies like Paradise Lodge International Artist Residency, Lonavala, Mumbai (November 2013); Sandarbh International Artists Residency Programme, Jaipur (November 2012); and Residency at the American School of Bombay, Mumbai (March - May 2010).

Crimson Spotted Emerald, 2019

Installation at TARQ

Courtesy: Courtesy of Nibha Sikander and TARQ

Copyright: Copyright Nibha Sikander, 2019