Creating art from shredded newspapers

Other than old newspapers, the artist has used shreds of old janmapatris, torn notes, weathered postcards along with resin to make these beautiful sculptures.

This article was originally published in The New Indian Express

The glass-like objects kept all around the room are intriguing, to say the least. That they are a thing of beauty goes without saying. Just as you are wondering as to what exactly are these comes a voice from behind, “That’s a sculpture made from resin and shredded newspaper.” 

The voice belongs to Rameshwar Broota, the celebrated artist and the man behind these beautiful creations of art. 

He begins: “It was in 2016 that streamers of papers coming out of a shredding machine interested me and I decided to turn these into art objects. I needed some transparent material but glass was ruled out as glass items are manufactured in factories in large quantities,” he says. 

Broota then searched on the Internet, a suitable material that could be used to turn this paper into an art object and got to know about a chemical called epoxy resin. He purchased some resin and added a layer of it on shredded newspaper and the resulting object bowled him for its beauty. That was the beginning. The artist inventor in him decided to make sculptures out of resin and old newspapers. The next three years he dedicated to making these sculptures. Come January 28, he will be putting up all these sculptures on the show titled Scripted in Time II at Shridharani Gallery, Triveni Kala Sangam. 

Other than old newspapers, he has used shreds of old janmapatris, torn notes, weathered postcards along with resin to make these sculptures. 

Each sculpture has multiple layers of resin, and each layer has a component pressed in between, adding mystery and depth to it. “It’s like looking deep down into the well of time. Where have we come from? Where are we going? What do we remember about our past and what do we want our future to be,” he says.

Born in 1941, Broota doesn’t have time for anything but art even today, at 78. He joined Triveni Kala Sangam in 1967 as a teacher and is presently serving as the head of department. 

Resin and paper sculptures are not the only art forms he has ‘invented’. He has a penchant for experimenting and bringing newer forms, which includes another unique technique in which he first applies layers of different coloured paints on the surface and then meticulously scrapes away the upper layers of the painting with a sharp knife, to unearth luminous images, literally.

Broota’s enthusiasm can easily put a teenager to shame. His studio at Triveni is strewn with paintings, and other artworks. And occupying pride of place amid all this madness is a huge Mac, his creative associate. 
“I love experimenting with different mediums. I bought a computer in the 1990s along with a scanner and a printer. It helped me upload a photo and see which colour scheme would suit a painting. Over time, I kept upgrading it as per my requirements till I bought this,” says Broota, pointing towards his Mac. All this apart, Broota has also made three 5-6 minute films, The Body, Biography of Life and Shabbash Bete.

Penchant for perfection
He has perfected a  unique technique in which he first applies layers of different coloured paints on the surface and then meticulously scrapes away the upper layers of the painting with a sharp knife, to unearth luminous images, literally.