Blog / Negotiating Roots

NR 18| Benog Hygroscope: Navdeep – Miniature Landscape – Post 2

3th June 14                                                                        Bungalow ki kandi                                                                        

Replication is the most fundamental act of representation. More often than not it is diminished in comparison to the subject, unless consciously life-size or bigger. But to choose to restrict yourself to keep to the diminutive requires a lot of patience and restraint. But it is rewarding no doubt for the delight and wonder it produces. When you see with eyes that have confounded all sense of actual scale you are left with only the mutual ratios of things to each other. And amid the hills you are awed and humbled by your own proportions with respect to them. Slowly but surely all other people visiting started noticing along with me just how small the sheep on the hill opposite really seemed.

The act of creating a miniature is more than simply transposing life-size reality onto a small scale replica. It is an attempt to simulate the experience of being in the corresponding environment through all sensory means – visual, tactile, olfactory. In the case of a miniature garden/landscape, the experience is of being amid the flora of this place. Through the process one learns to notice the nature of the land and landscape itself – such as for instance no place here is on level ground, everything is staggered vertically – especially the step farming in line with the hills contours. One notices the pattern of landuse – the forests, fields, villages. You then try to replicate each of these elements so as to be recognisable to anyone familiar with the area. Conversely you start noticing even more the vegetation, otherwise small insignificant wild flowers growing out of rock crevices along the road, the concave mossy stones that look like caves and the tree stumps that resemble cliffs. Your use of material that are conducive to soaking water or not what will cause water to run off or trickle down to the bedrock teaches you to notice the same in the life-size area.

You learn that there is nothing micro about an eco-system that the small piece of bioshpere you are working with is in itself. For the insects that have their home in a rock or a mound or a tree trunk living or dead that Is their world – their source of nourishment, their terroitory, their workplace and place of rest. It resembles more closely our own homes, neighbourhoods, communities and villages and towns than we like to acknowledge.