Meet India’s only feather artist — Aditi Agarwal. This Jaipur based girl has been making a mark with her art works all across the country. Aditi started her creative journey as a charcoal artist who loved painting on realistic themes. Some of her favourite objects that she brought alive beautifully on paper included dead trees and horses. While dead trees portray dormant beauty, horses are symbolic of strength and power, says Aditi.
Around two years ago, Aditi started painting on feathers. It is worth pointing out here that Aditi has no professional training as a feather artist. She came across a feather painting while browsing the internet and the idea immediately struck a chord in her mind. From Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece Mona Lisa to the traditional Rajasthani Bani Thani, Aditi can beautifully paint just about anything in the world on a feather. Aditi has made paintings on a feather as tiny as 1 inch to a feather as huge as 20 inches.
From making a painting on a single feather, Aditi gradually evolved her self-learnt technique and started clubbing the feathers together to make bigger art works. She has worked on as many as 35 feathers to make a single painting. Aditi typically uses feathers of birds like pigeons, peacocks (wing feathers) as well as crow. In fact, currently she is working on making a painting on an eagle feather. She makes regular visits to the Jaipur zoo to collect feathers on which she can work.
Sharing a word of caution, Aditi says that while making a feather painting it is important to maintain the beauty of both the feather as well what you are making on it. To stick the barbs of the feather together Aditi advises applying a coat of white acrylic paint. Not only does it make painting on it easier but also brings out the colours vibrantly on the feather. However, one needs to remember that the only the area on which the painting needs to be made, should be coated in white paint or else the feather will lose its natural charm.
Aditi has participated in various exhibitions in as well as outside Jaipur and has also received several accolades and recognitions for her work. As far as her future plans are concerned, Aditi also intends to make sculptures using feathers. However, she does not plan on converting her art works into feather accessories which are otherwise quite in these days. I want to maintain my class and be known as an artist rather than a craftsperson, says Aditi.
This out of the box artist also believes in serving the society with her art. Aditi has been a member of Rang De group which aimed at spreading awareness about tree plantation by painting dead trees. She has also worked with Naya Sawera NGO and taught slum dwelling women to make accessories. The proceeds from its sales were later used to work towards the upliftment of the suppressed classes in the society. Aditi has also worked on creating awareness about the flora and fauna on the verge of extinction through her paintings. For instance, she painted tigers as well as Rohida flower which is Rajasthan’s state flower.
Clearly, Aditi holds a big feather in her cap!