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Monday, July 26, 2021

Thought of creating art ‘for’ nature instead of art ‘on’ nature: Manveer Singh aka Plasticvalla

In the past three years, the Haridwar-born artist has successfully diverted 250kgs of plastics that would otherwise have been dumped into landfills

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: July 6, 2021 6:56:43 pm
plasticvalla, plastics and artworks, artworks using plastics, indianexpress, indianexpress.com, manveer singh plastics,Plasticvalla is on a mission to clean the environment. (Source: Plasticvalla/Instagram/Facebook)

Have you ever thought of converting waste into art? That is exactly what Manveer Singh envisioned and soon made it his life’s mission. This #PlaticFreeJuly, meet the artist, popularly known as Plasticvalla, who switched to using waste plastics in his works in 2018. In the past three years, Delhi-based artist has successfully diverted 250kgs of plastics that would otherwise have been dumped into landfills.

“While creating landscape paintings, I noticed the negative transformation of natural landscape into ‘plasticscape’ and hence thought of creating art ‘for’ nature instead of art ‘on’ nature,” Plasticvalla, 28, told indianexpress.com.

The art teacher, who has sold three artworks overseas – one in Germany and two in Abu Dhabi, felt compelled to reduce the consumption of “hard-to-recycle” plastic that is found in dumpyards. “I also want to ensure that no piece of plastic ends up in landfills without being segregated at source. To bring this vision to reality, I’m using plastic trash in my artworks as much as I can, so that less plastic waste is dumped into the environment,” said the artist who is currently working on his 12th piece with plastics.

What kind of plastics are used?

“I primarily use MLP or plastics with RIC number 7 to make artworks,” he shared. Multi Layered Packaging (MLP), also called Multi Layered Plastic is any material used for packaging and having at least one layer of plastic as the main ingredient in combination with one or more layers of materials such as paper, paper board, polymeric materials, metalised layers or aluminium foil, either in the form of laminate or co-extruded structure.

How challenging is it to use plastic?

For someone who has been taught to work with oil and acrylic on canvas, working with plastic was initially a challenge. “Using plastic as a medium has been a challenge since we are taught academically how to use oil, acrylic and other media to make artworks; but not plastic. It took a lot of trial and error for using plastic as a medium. Challenge was also to collect plastic waste. I struggled a lot to get it initially,” he said.

Is the Indian market open to plastic-based artworks?

International collectors have been open to mixed media but for Indian collectors to value an artwork made from plastic waste is a challenge, despite it being well processed and cleaned, said Plasticvalla.

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