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Wings of fire

Artist Rupa Samaria’s exhibition titled ‘A Bird Call’ will feature around 60 stimulating and mesmerising avian artworks on the occasion of World Sparrow Day

DRAWING ATTENTION to the alarming decline in the number of sparrows, Delhi based artist Rupa Samaria is giving a voice to the birds’ silent call for help through a solo exhibition.

Titled ‘A Bird Call’, the exhibition will feature around 60 stimulating and mesmerising avian artworks, on the occasion of World Sparrow Day (March 20).

The aim of this exhibition is to re-discover a world inhabited by one of the most familiar, unique and precious creatures that inhabit our planet — birds.

“In India, the illegal trade of protected bird species has been going on for years. Owls, especially, have been on the receiving end of this because they are sought for their body parts like skulls, talon, beaks, feathers, and even blood — a practice driven by irrational myths. Meanwhile, sparrows are being rendered homeless due to modern ‘matchbox style’ architecture that makes it difficult for the bird to build nests. Thanks to us these birds have been pushed to the brink of extinction. It’s high time we do something to save them,” reads the note of the exhibition.

Appealing to people to join her, Samaria’s artworks showcase her passion for birds and wildlife conservation. Her goal is to depict the magnificence and fragility of birds in equal measure. She works across various mediums such as water colours, acrylic, charcoal, and even sculpture and interactive art, to depict the various moods, poses and habitats of birds found across the Indian subcontinent like owls, sparrows, kingfishers, and numerous other native birds.

With intricate details, Samaria’s painting brings her spectacular subjects to life. “My avian art comes from my love for these creatures, who I love to paint using my brush and sculpt using my hands, a process which gives me immense gratification as an artist. Moreover, we should be alarmed at the statistics of the recent State of India’s Birds report, which show a decline in the number of house sparrows in cities. I believe the time to act is now,” says Samaria.

This exhibition is supported by noted ornithologist, author, and conservationist Bikram Grewal who adds, “Rupa Samaria is a fine practitioner of the dying art of ornithological painting and a worthy successor to artists like DV Cowen, JP Irani and Carl D’silva.”

Born and brought up in Patna, Samaria’s art has always borne the imprint of her penchant for birds and wildlife conservation. This upcoming series of avian art work revolves around owls, sparrows, kingfishers and birds native to various Indian states.

Along with this exhibition, Rupa Samaria will be hosting an hour session on 21st March between 11.30am-12.30pm titled ‘Walk and Talk’ with conservationist Hema Maira. It will be an introduction to the fascinating world of birds for children under 14 years and an interactive presentation of the intriguing facts of sparrows, their life, and their habitat.

The exhibition is on display at India Habitat Centre from March 18 to 22