Walking on the beach, we all tend to pick up shells washed ashore by the sea and carry it back as a keepsake of our memories of the trip. Software engineer Malini Mohan Kumar who travels internationally for work, would make it a point to collect shells, pebbles and tree leaves wherever she travelled. As the collection grew on her shelves, going unused for years, Malini decided to make a nature-based art project from her collections in 2016 and shared it on FB which was appreciated by her friends and encouraged her to create more such projects.
The self-taught, non-commercial hobby artist has made hundreds of frames using things she collected from the sea shore. “I love collecting things. As a kid, I collected pebbles, seashells, and different kinds of tree leaves. The international travels took my hobby of collecting pebbles and shells to another level. I often bring colourful sea glass, stones, rocks, shells, and pebbles as souvenirs from my on-site travels,” says Malini who is presently in Boston, USA, for on-site work.
Before creating an artifact, Malini first visualises what she wants to make and then starts the process of assembling the collected materials. “I look for some smooth pebbles and rocks or use it from my existing collection. Wash the rocks, pebbles and use a damp cloth to remove visible dirt. Sorting according to shapes and colours by using artistic logic, each material is carefully selected and assembled to create the perfect emotion. Once I settled down with the scene, I begin by forming and gluing the pebbles. Once it’s all assembled, glued and dried, I put the frame on,” says Malini, who participated in the 16th Annual Asian Festival 2019 and the prestigious 4th Annual Revere beach art festival 2019.
“My work is a sculpture and 3D natural art style that comes in shadow boxes and wood frames of varying sizes. They depict scenes of people, families, animals, and nature. They are very striking and evoke emotions and make people smile,” says Malini who showcased her art for the first time in the India Society of Worcester Cultural and Art Festive 2018 and 2019.
Since 2019, Malini is also running a personal initiative called ‘Art for cause’ to raise funds to support an under-privileged six-year-old Autistic girl in Hyderabad. She started to make customised gift orders and the fund raised is sent to the NGOs. Till date, she has supported Serve Needy, Spoorthi, Krishi, and Aatchiyar IAS free mobile app for UPSC, TNPSC exams – Sponsoring Yearly Hosting fee for the Server.
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