Finding life’s meaning in roots

KATHMANDU: In various stages of life, one tends to think differently of the meaning of life. Knowing the meaning of one’s life helps one to lead a progressive life.

There are times when it is difficult to get the right answer to the meaning of the life.

However, artist/poet Narendra Bahadur Shrestha has created masterpieces from driftwood that once used to be the roots of trees.

Shrestha has been giving meaning to these meaningless driftwood for 42 years now. The exhibition ‘Dristikon — Jarama Artha Khojdai’ is the proof, which began on September 18 at Nepal Art Council, Baber Mahal. This is Shrestha’s first exhibition.

Shrestha has never formally learned how to carve or work with wood. It is his inner calling that made him an artist. Suffering from paratyphoid, resting in his bed with nothing to do, he used to gaze at the cracked lines of the walls and see different images in them. This inspired him to become who he is today.

He created the sculpture ‘Sangharsamay Byaktitow’ which is an elongated slim wood painted black. It looks like a man without a hand and leg each who is trying to move forward. The sculpture has a poem by Ashesh Malla that describes it.

Each sculpture in the exhibition depicts various experiences like love, struggle, death, motherhood, freedom, et cetera. He has also used creatures, religious characters and events as his motifs for his works that are accompanied by heart touching poems by renowned Nepali poets.

‘Jiwanko Antim Chyan’ is a sculpture of an elderly woman who has just died. Her eyes are closed and her stiff body is lying on the pyre to be burnt. Rastra Kabi Madhav Prasad Ghimire has penned a poem for it.

Each sculpture narrates a story and each one is different from the other, showing diverse aspects of human life and the surroundings.

The sculptures are in semi-abstract form and are a visual treat that behold the beauty of a creative mind.

The exhibition continues till September 27.