Celebrations on India’s 74th Independence Day are not just restricted to the country; people living around the globe also mark the special occasion with equal fervour. This year, a teacher living in United Arab Emirates (UAE) has created a beautiful portrait of Mahatma Gandhi using thousands of buttons to pay tribute to the Father of the Nation.
Rashida Adil, head of the department for art and craft at the Sharjah Indian School (boys) in Juwaiza, decided to re-purpose nearly 5,000 tiny buttons, in various sizes and colours, to create the masterpiece .
The unique artwork was then gifted to Dr Aman Puri, the Consul General of India, Dubai before the Independence Day celebrations started at the consulate. Dressed in a white salwar suit and a tri-colour dupatta, the teacher, who has been living in the country for over two decades, handed over the gift for Consulate General of India in Dubai.
Talking to IndianExpress.com, Adil said that the intricate artwork was indeed taxing but a befitting tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. “The most difficult task was to keep the buttons in place. Owing to summers, I had to re-attach the buttons many times, sometimes even after framing it, I have had to open it up a few times. It was tedious but it was worth it,” she said.
Talking how she arrived at the idea of creating this piece, the woman, who is originally from Sri Lanka and married to an Indian said that in the past she has made many creations using buttons and for India’s Independence Day it was only natural to select Gandhi as the theme. “I have made a few artworks recycling products, one of UAE flag using 65,000 buttons and others of the prince, so this seemed fit for the occasion,” she added.
The teacher highlighted the sentimental value of the handmade partriotic gift compared to a gift that is purchased from the shop. “Apart from a sense of love and patriotism we feel for India, the idea behind this innovative art creation was to show the limitless options there is to recycle things. I do all my craft items using only eco-friendly materials and reuse and recycle items instead of throwing them away,” she added.
“Although I made the artwork, I gifted it to the CGI on behalf of my students and school as it is with their efforts that I could collect buttons of different colours that they got from home,” Adil was quoted by Khaleej Times as saying. According to Adil, it took around her three months to finish the portrait.