An Ahmedabad Artist is Creating ‘Mermaids in Sarees’ Out of Paper!
A brilliant young artist has amalgamated this thought, his love for mermaids and his talent of paper cutting to produce some stupendous pieces of art.
A brilliant young artist has amalgamated this thought, his love for mermaids and his talent of paper cutting to produce some stupendous pieces of art.(Photo Courtesy: Parth Kothekar)

An Ahmedabad Artist is Creating ‘Mermaids in Sarees’ Out of Paper!

We have grown up watching our mothers walk around the house, completing hundred chores a day, wearing the beautiful six yards that is a saree. As uncomfortable as it might seem to an observer who hasn’t worn one, the fact is, most Indian women have been surmounting obstacles and conquering the world in that piece of clothing.

Most Indian women have been surmounting obstacles and conquering the world in that piece of clothing.
Most Indian women have been surmounting obstacles and conquering the world in that piece of clothing.
(Photo Courtesy: Parth Kothekar)

A brilliant young artist has amalgamated this thought, his love for mermaids and his talent of paper cutting to produce some stupendous pieces of art.

This artist is producing some stupendous pieces of art.
This artist is producing some stupendous pieces of art.
(Photo Courtesy: Parth Kothekar)

Ahmedabad-based Parth Kothekar has the finesse of a sculptor and the heart of a dreamer that shines through his ‘Indian Mermaids’ series.

A glimpse at his ‘Indian Mermaids’ series.
A glimpse at his ‘Indian Mermaids’ series.
(Photo Courtesy: Parth Kothekar)
Since childhood, I have seen my mother in sarees and wondered how such a complex piece of clothing is nothing but a single, long drape. The way Indian women carry a saree is laudable too; it is as long as 8 metres and as wide as 1.2 metres and yet it falls effortlessly around a woman’s body. The intricacies and the way Indian women handle it inspired me to create this series – because only the mermaid knows the discomfort that her ornate tail brings.
“Since childhood, I have seen my mother in sarees and wondered how such a complex piece of clothing is nothing but a single, long drape,” says Parth.
“Since childhood, I have seen my mother in sarees and wondered how such a complex piece of clothing is nothing but a single, long drape,” says Parth.
(Photo Courtesy: Parth Kothekar)

The animation school dropout's heart was always set on 2D art instead of 3D.

Well acclaimed for his works across countries like New Zealand, Canada and Italy, Kothekar has also created posters for movies like Angry Indian Goddesses.

The animation school dropout’s heart was always set on 2D art instead of 3D.
The animation school dropout’s heart was always set on 2D art instead of 3D.
(Photo Courtesy: Parth Kothekar)

How he came upon paper cutting, an ancient art from China, is interesting –

One day, while making graffiti, I imagined stencils in their reverse forms. I followed the idea and was fascinated by my own work. It started as a hobby but after six months, I had enough artworks to have an exhibition at Kanoria Center of Arts in Ahmedabad. It was very well received.
“One day, while making graffiti, I imagined stencils in their reverse forms,” says Parth.
“One day, while making graffiti, I imagined stencils in their reverse forms,” says Parth.
(Photo Courtesy: Parth Kothekar)

Women and everyday life inspire the young artist, whose pieces portray women doing mundane jobs in glorious saree prints, expressing a hundred emotions all at once.

Women and everyday life inspire the young artist.
Women and everyday life inspire the young artist.
(Photo Courtesy: Parth Kothekar)

Kothekar has recently opened his studio, ‘PaperCut’ in Ahmedabad where he works and sells his art, the latest ones being Game of Thrones inspired.

Kothekar has recently opened his studio, ‘PaperCut’ in Ahmedabad.
Kothekar has recently opened his studio, ‘PaperCut’ in Ahmedabad.
(Photo Courtesy: Parth Kothekar)

But even he doesn’t know how any of his pieces will turn out in the end.

“I sketch on a white paper (120 gsm), cut out the artwork with a surgical knife,” says Parth.
“I sketch on a white paper (120 gsm), cut out the artwork with a surgical knife,” says Parth.
(Photo Courtesy: Parth Kothekar)
I sketch on a white paper (120 gsm), cut out the artwork with a surgical knife and then paint it black. I have an image in mind but to be honest, I don’t know what the final outcome will be. It leaves me jaw-dropped at times and there are no words to describe my satisfaction. It makes me want to create more and more.
“I have an image in mind but to be honest, I don’t know what the final outcome will be,” says Parth.
“I have an image in mind but to be honest, I don’t know what the final outcome will be,” says Parth.
(Photo Courtesy: Parth Kothekar)

(Runa Mukherjee Parikh is an independent journalist with several national and international media houses like The Wire, Bust and The Swaddle. She previously reported for the Times of India. She is the author of the book 'Your Truth, My Truth (https://www.amazon.in/dp/B076NXZFX8)'. You can follow her at @tweetruna.)

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