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‘Paintings make me mentally free’

Saswati Chinmayee, Apeejay Panchsheel Park student wins the first position in the national poster making competition organised by Department of Environment, Govt of India

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Saswati Chinmayee

Plastic has shown time and again that it has a plastic heart. Its impact at destroying the environment has been colossal since its inception. Despite various conferences, protests and public campaigns, plastic is still widely in use. 

To spread awareness and curb this menace, the Department of Environment, Government of India organised a national-level poster making competition for school students. It gives one immense pride to see that Apeejay School, Panchsheel Park, class 11 student Saswati Chinmayee has bagged the first position in the same. 

In an exclusive interview, the talented artist mentions the concept behind her award winning poster and explains how the competition helped broaden her artistic vision. Edited excerpts:

Tell us about your experience at the competition?

I had to make a poster physically and submit it virtually for the competition. I decided to go with a different theme this time which isn’t a conventional idea. I made a black and white painting at first, basically a monochrome. I painted only grey scale, white and black. I think that the uniqueness of this approach was perhaps a factor that made me win the competition.

I made a plastic cup, then a paper cup and portrayed a liquid flowing through them. I showed that in the plastic cup, the people and elements of nature were impacted, but as the water fell into the paper cup, slowly the trees, other natural elements and the people were growing. So, through that I depicted how harmful plastic is for nature and one must not use it.

How did your school Apeejay Panchsheel Park help you to win the competition?

I was told about this competition by my school’s biology teacher Payal ma’am. She helped me participate in this and she also encouraged me to try a different approach.

What message would you give about stopping the use of plastics?

I would say that even though plastic looks very cheap we must not buy new plastic anymore. Instead, we should recycle and reuse whatever we have in our homes. It would be a fun process and it’ll also protect nature.

How effective are posters for spreading change?

Posters are very effective in bringing a change in society. This competition was organised by the government to make the students aware about the various environmental problems in the world. Such poster making competitions on issues of water pollution or plastic menace are organised not to distribute prizes but to spread awareness. So, a poster is a great medium for change and such events also inspire us student-artists to make better art with an impactful message.

What are your next targets in art?

Painting makes me mentally free, so even if it is for a competition or the school calendar or clubs or even just for myself, I would love to make paintings. 

Arijit Roy is a young correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. He has done his masters in English literature from Delhi University and has a book of poems published by Writers Workshop India. He can be reached at [email protected]

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