This is the story of Ritu Dua who has the natural talent of perceiving the beauty of the things around her. She uses recycled tea bags to communicate that beauty to the others. Her blog is a place where she shares the beauty she sees in things surrounding her with the world.
She started her blog in 2012 named ‘Beneath my heart- Art’. In her blog, she expresses herself what she observes through her artistic eyes. It is a place where she shows the world, all that she notices around her, the magic of colors and the mysterious patterns that she observes every day. Ritu talks about the different cultures in the world, the way they dress and accessorize in her blog. Her blog is dedicated to her art and writings.
Because of her husband’s job they have been in many places in and out of India regularly, which compelled her to resign from her own job. But art was her calling. Ritu believes that being in the field of arts is enthralling at the same time challenging to her as nothing is guaranteed. She considers herself a true gypsy at heart. She participates and attends many different art festivals, exhibitions and eco melas and shares all about it in her blog.
Ritu thinks that trash is a failure of one’s imagination. She is fond of the unpredictability of materials that are thrown away as trash. For her, the abandoned useless materials of the trash have a story which is unheard.
One fine day, as Ritu was enjoying taking sips of her tea and painting in that moment she noticed the beautiful stains of the tea bag. The remarkable hues of tea on the tea bag stirred her imagination and she noticed the unique shades of tea that appeared due to brewing. This is how she found her inspiration to create art from the used tea bags.
With a few failures, she was finally able to create miniature artworks which have distinctive tea stained backgrounds making it an unusual piece of art. After mastering it, Ritu went on to exhibit her miniature creations last year to the world at the Kala Ghoda Art Festival in Mumbai. The theme’s name was ‘Without Borders’ and her installation was titled ‘My Chai Tamaasha’.
She explains that the name symbolizes the thousand and a half cups of tea that had been a part of bringing the hearts closer ‘without borders’. The tea bags have stories attached to them of their own, happy moments, new beginnings as well as sad ones too.
Ritu has completed a series of artworks using teabags which she calls ‘Feelings 77’. It all comprises of one feeling a day expressed on a used tea bag for 77 days. She further explains the reason behind the number 77 that she had discovered. The number indicates the approaching changes of self-discovery or the increase in knowledge acquired by understanding oneself, which eventually leads to substantial motivation, transformation, and freedom. She displayed this art at the Shaurya Art Gallery in Navi Mumbai in 2016 and also at Kulture Kunnect in Navi Mumbai in 2017.
Ritu currently is working on illustrating a recipe book for kids with special needs. She is looking forward to creating many super easy and no-cook recipes for the gifted children. Graphic sources help these children learn and make the experience a whole lot better. Ritu believes that the recipes will not only be a visual feast to the kids but will also encourage them to try out some of it. The books will have illustrations of the ingredients as well as instructions. The recipes have little or no cooking which will make it easy for the kids to follow under parental supervision.
(Photo Credit: Twitter, ritudua.me, Pinterest, Beneath my heart-Art)