Creativity is officially a full-fledged Kayastha affair. “Lyrics from the Junkyard” is why. Before Meena Kayastha started sculpting, she used to help her husband, Kishor Kayastha, with styling for his photography. The idea of sculpting, let alone the junk was not even born when she was studying Fine Arts at K.U. “I was actually painting and learning pottery then,” she cheerfully recalls. It has been a little over a year since she started and there are 25 sculptures under her belt already. Constantin Brâncuşi is her muse. “In his sculptures, you will see long, elongated faces that reflect the people of Renaissance period.” says Meena in a way that tells you he has inspired her more than anything else. When asked how she came up with the junk-concept, she informed “I do not like growing old, the energy of youth is so much better than the retired life. My attempt is to bring the junk back to life”.
Her works represent a hybrid style- juxtaposition of traditional art and post-modern techniques. Paper mash and gum are used to depict the primitive concept whereas the junk, which she collects from various junkyards around Kathmandu, is used for the mechanical input. It is her 8-year old son who helps her with the African tribal faces that are a significant part of her sculptures.
Meena never plans on how she will go about a piece; it is rather a process for her. That way, she can always add a little extra to what is already there and it also avoids frustration of not getting what you actually wanted. From the heap of junk, she envisions the figures that will become of them. The “Lyrics from the Junkyard” exhibition starts from August 19 at Siddhartha Art Gallery, Baber Mahal.