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  Life   Art  17 Nov 2019  The hive life

The hive life

Published : Nov 17, 2019, 1:09 am IST
Updated : Nov 17, 2019, 1:09 am IST

Humanity is much like a beehive, efficient and yet so fragile, and this artist’s collection draws a visually stunning connect between the two.

Red colour at Gabelle
 Red colour at Gabelle

The beehive appears to have a very sturdy exterior but if you scrape through the layers, you will find the buzz of life and the sweet scent of honey. There also exists a symmetry and sense of commonality between hives and human civilisation as both are resilient, but also fragile.

Similar thoughts inspire Richa Navani's artwork, even as she addresses issues such as gender politics, ecology, and sexuality using a variety of art forms such as paintings, sculptures, and other installations. Also, she indulges in drawings and video art.


Her collection is currently on display at Delhi's Alliance Française, where she presents close to 50 works, with each exploring the commonality that exists between the beehive and humankind. "My day-to-day interactions with the beehive that I had on my terrace touched my heart and my creative process somewhere. While I was looking at and observing these forms, I found hexagons and geometry are predominant and architectonic in these hives," says Richa, explaining the inspiration behind her work.

While geometry is perceived as merely a school subject by many, it has always been art for Richa. She continues, "Ever since I was a kid, I never hated geometry probably because of my upbringing; I had been watching these forms being created in every puja. These symbols attracted me and that was just the starting point."


"These are my personal observations and experiences that have affected my personality. My creative process is not separate from my (sense of) self," she says. The artist has used primary colours, on which she comments, "It is never a planned thing - I just take the colour and whatever I feel, I just apply it."

Her creations express the idea that nature restores its balance amid all the chaos. She elucidates further, "It is nature versus humans, and humans are a part of nature. We are fighting with ourselves. We cannot only survive on concrete structures." She further adds that it is because she is inspired by nature that one finds her work revolving around beehives and shells.


Richa, who belongs to Uttarakhand, frequently visits Paris, which has helped her form a personal connect with the French capital. This way, she has linked the two places in her artwork. She reveals, "Every space and area where I live, it invests form, a symbol, and a thought process in my work. Whether it is in terms of material or in terms of technique."

— The exhibition is ongoing at Alliance Française de Delhi till November 25

Tags: gender politics, richa navani