Jaimini Joshi: An inspiring friend of the Environment

Venkat Raman
Auckland, May 21, 2024

While the Covid-19 lockdown made people closeted in their homes, it also motivated people to give vent to creativity and tighten bonds within families.

Among them is Jamini Joshi, who has honed her ability to convert almost any item thrown away as waste into an objective of endearment and embellishment.

A former Immigration Officer and a current Banker, Jaimini belongs to the class of people who believe that Climate Change is real and that all of us can help tackle its evil effects. All it needs is joint work of give and take or think, and contact (her) before discarding anything in your home or office.

Art Street Fair on June 1

As this story was being written, we learnt that she has been selected to showcase her artistic pieces at the Art Street Fair Greenhithe to be held on June 1, 2024.

Sponsored by the Creative Communities Scheme of Creative Council, the Auckland City Council and supported by Barfoot & Thompson, the Fair will be held from 9 am to 2 pm at Greenhithe Park, Greenhithe Road in Greenhithe West Auckland. Entry is free.

A Website notification said, “Inspired by art streets around the world, Art Street Fair is one of a kind festival celebrating the creativity of the City and its people by creating a temporary outdoor gallery for artists, musicians and performers. Different art mediums, from paintings to sculptures and craft items are exhibited and available to purchase from the artists. Art Street Fair is a place where one can find that one-of-a-kind item and meet the artists in a non-traditional space.”

Jaimini said that she intends to showcase some of her recent and earlier works and enthuse Aucklanders and other visitors to ‘think before throwing,’ and help the Council to keep the City clean and green.

She is one of our avid readers, who has over the years encouraged her daughter Sia (Muskan) also to take to creative writing. She invited us to visit her home to view the objects that she has created, qualifying as the best friend of the Environment.

Covid-19 and thereafter

“Covid changed a lot of lives and I am one of those who tried to get ‘something positive’ out of the pandemic lockdowns. I was always keen on drawing and used the opportunity to sketch birds, sceneries, houses and other objects and put them in post boxes in front of people’s homes. The idea of using stuff that is thrown away came when I say people leaving things outside their homes in our neighbourhood,” she said.

Like the proverbial dictionary, her efforts began to multiply along with the interest that she evinced interest on almost anything that she perceived.

She converted frames into Madhubani, Alpana and other artworks and gifted them to people initially. But she soon realised the cost element to her works and more importantly, the demand for her creations.

“The non-generic artwork such as those seen in many stores always attract people and they would buy them so long as they are reasonably priced. That is how I started and I believe that as well as creating useful or usable materials, we can save the environment. I am appalled by the rubbish that is dumped everywhere,” she said.

The floods in Auckland

The torrential rain and the consequent flooding in Auckland in January 2023 brought to the fore the need for better buildings. It also brought to light the need to manage waste. Jaimini said that she would visit the beach near her home and collect the wood that would surface.

“In converted them into pots and planters. These became popular because as well as appearing elegant, plants grow better in natural wood,” she said.

Nothing consigned to Waste

Jainimini prefers to reuse general rubbish as much as possible.

“Bottles come in various shapes and they can be ‘replenished’ with a design and different colours to become a piece of art in a workplace or at home. Similarly, beverage cans can also be used for decoration and as bases for plants to grow. It is often said that creativity is limited by imagination and designs can be endless,” she said.

Her home (now in Hobsonville) is markedly different to her earlier home which we had visited almost two decades ago. The present dwelling has her artistic expression almost everywhere- from the settee and coffee table to wall hangers to the living room, there are pieces of art that have emanated from what people discard as garbage. Even the cage that houses Piku, her favourite Budgerigar is a work of art.

Encouraged by her family and friends, Jaimini took to Madhubani Art, a style of painting that reportedly began in the Madhubani District of Bihar in Central India. Artists like Jaimini create these paintings using a variety of mediums using their fingers, brushes, rib-pens and even matchsticks.

“These paintings are created by using natural dyes and pigments and are characterised by their eye-catching, geometrical patterns. There is a ritual content for special occasions such as religious and social festivals,” she said.

Jaimini also creates motifs which she says ‘carry more meaning and spirit of love and friendship’ given to people as they move into a new house or celebrate their marriage anniversary or birthdays.

“These are simple and yet elegant gifts that are of greater value than what can be purchased at bargain stores. Many of my creations conform to contemporary art, and a majority of them can be classified as ‘Indian.’ Wearable Art is also becoming a trend and any material – wood, steel, cloth, ceramic, terracotta and plastic can be used. All of us can help with Climate Change,” she said.

The World of Wearable Art

World of Wearable Art (WOW) has become a global event showcasing the creativity of people from more than 40 countries at an annual event held in Wellington.

Established in 1987 in Nelson by Suzie Moncrieff, the show moved three years later to the Trafalgar Centre in Nelson. In 20025, Wellington became the venue for the show. In 2022, the show was sold to Hideaki Fukutake, a New Zealand businessman with a love for the arts.

The competition runs for three weeks, attracting about 60,000 people and providing opportunities for artists like Jaimini to move to the international stage.

Artworks of Jaimini Joshi can be purchased by writing to jaimini_devta@yahoo.com

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