Engaged Arts in Nepal: Connecting Nature and Culture

Lillian Ball first came to Nepal with the Anatta Foundation in 2015, she was introduced to the dynamic young Theravada monk, Venerable Metteyya. Upon hearing that she worked with wetlands, he shared his saga about the threatened cranes in Lumbini. Thus, came the inspiration behind organizing this exhibition. After meetingseveral of the artists during her visits to Nepal where she is involved with an ongoing project at the Lumbini Crane Sanctuary. The artists she met shared many concerns and creative ways of working with distinct populations which inspired her.
The exhibition collectively focuses on group dynamics in painting and street theater, people from Janakpur adapt traditional architectural clay paintings to native Lokta bush handmade papers. On the other hand an American artist living in Nepal collaborates with community members across caste lines in the Himalayan Mustang district, establishing a rural learning centre which focuses on environmental education and exploring alternative approaches that are directly engaged with indigenous people.
A substantial catalog on the exhibition is being published, documenting the artist’s perspectives within the context of contemporary art and social practice. The catalog includes essays by: Kunda Dixit, journalist and publisher of the Nepali Times and Rabi Thapa, author and critic, Om Rai and Phalguni Desai. The artists involved are:
Ashmina Ranjit and Nexus Arts
Claire Burkert and JanakpurWomen’s Development Center
Gina de la Chesnaye and 108 Lives Project
Gopal das Shrestha-Kalapremi and Kapilvastu Ceramics
Jessica Kain and Marpha Foundation
Karan Shrestha and A Social Critique
Lillian Ball and Lumbini Social Service Foundation
Shyam Badan Shrestha and Natural Resource Development Centre