Nibha Sikander's Art Recreates Various Species from Nature

Updated: Jun 26

Wandering Violin Mantis by Nibha Sikander

In Nibha Sikander’s first solo exhibition, she expands on her growing practice of looking at and recreating various species from nature, some real and some imagined.


Wandering Violin Mantis, Ground floor Installation image, 2019, Courtesy TARQ

The artist uses layer upon layer of intricately cut out paper to create form after form of moths, mantises and birds, each one meticulously assembled in her studio in Murud-Janjira. The exhibition focuses on Nibha’s observations of a variety of insects and other creatures that surround her. Fascinated by nature since childhood, and more particularly since moving to her current home, the artist began experimenting with making birds in her medium of choice – paper. The paper, according to her, mimics nature in its versatility – soft, stiff, malleable and flexible, almost like wings, feathers and antennae. In some of her works, Sikander delves deeper into her engagement with her subjects, deconstructing, and even abstracting the individual elements of the bird or insect that she is recording.


Below are some of the artworks from the exhibition.


House Sparrow,

1 work with 5 individual paper cut parts of the House Sparrow bird,

2019 Coloured Paper, Archival Paper,

Paper-cut Framed Dimensions: 15.5 x 15.5 x 2.5 inches


Common Kingfisher,

1 work with 5 individual paper cut parts of the Common Kingfisher bird,

Detail, 2019 Coloured Paper, Archival Paper,

Paper-cut Framed Dimensions: 25.5 x 16.3 x 2.5 inches


Common Kingfisher,

1 work with 5 individual paper cut parts of the Common Kingfisher bird,

Detail, 2019 Coloured Paper, Archival Paper,

Paper-cut Framed Dimensions: 25.5 x 16.3 x 2.5 inches


About the Artist:

Sikander (b.1983) has done her Bachelors in Visual Arts (2006) and Masters in Visual Arts (2008), both specialising in painting, from the Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara. Since her graduation, she has been part of several group exhibitions, some of which include ALCHEMY: Explorations in Indigo, KasturbhaiLalbhai Museum, Ahmedabad (2019); Beyond Borders, curated by the CONA Foundation at the Whitworth Gallery/Museum, Manchester, England (2017-18); A New Space, Nazar Art Gallery, Vadodara (2016); Back to College, VADFEST, Faculty of Fine Arts, Vadodara (2015); A Construal of Mourning and Rage and Emami Chisel Art, Kolkata (2014). She has also taken part in residencies like Paradise Lodge International Artist Residency, Lonavala, Mumbai (November 2013); Sandarbh International Artists Residency Programme, Jaipur (November 2012); and Residency at the American School of Bombay, Mumbai (March - May 2010)

She is the recipient of the Nasreen Mohamedi Scholarship, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara, 2004-2005. Nibha currently works and lives in Murud-Janjira and Mumbai.

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