Cause and Effect
2019, Middle School, Art
The hump-backed Mahseer fish species endemic to the Cauvery River Basin is now listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Its supporting ecosystems—the rivers and wetlands—are also in severe decline. My artwork titled “Cause and Effect,” is inspired by the Madhubani painting tradition which has played a vital role in the environmental conservation efforts in India. This art style is known for its unique representation of natural elements like the sun, moon, animals, birds, flowers, trees, fish and their relationship with humans and ancient deities. I have symbolically represented the factors expediting climate change and causing the near extinction of the hump-backed Mahseer fish: a human being with the head of a scorching sun represents global warming, loss of habitat caused by deforestation is shown as an uprooted-inverted tree, industrial pollution is represented by gears and a polluting factory, migratory barriers are represented by the Dam signage, overexploitation is expressed by the dead fish surrounded by nets, and environmental pollution is shown as the plastic trash, waste, and murky bubbles of water. My artwork serves as a visual reminder of unrelenting human greed and its consequences. The prestigious Bow Seat contest has given me a platform to raise global awareness about the near extinction of this iconic fish species and its supporting habitats. We can bring about a significant change if we connect and commit towards conserving, protecting, and preserving all forms of life on our beautiful planet.