Adyar Poonga, Chennai: This was a prestigious Government of Tamil Nadu undertaking which principally focused on wetland restoration, which has remained our largest undertaking to date. As education was envisaged to play a crucial role in the process, educative signage, models, etc were commissioned and developed.
Marine Interpretation Centre, Kundakal (near Rameswaram): This was a joint UNDP and Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve Trust (GoMBRT) undertaking. The concept was essentially that when one entered the building the atmosphere should be almost as if one was underwater. The highlight of the whole exercise was a three dimensional 18 ft x 9 ft model of a coral reef with hundreds of associated life forms.
WIPRO Technologies, Electronic City, Bangalore: It was heartening to collaborate with ATREE on this project which was essentially to enhance landscape features of a butterfly garden with art as well as to sensitize people about butterfly life. This involved confluent paintings on large granite slabs and stone sculpture.
Raj Bhavan, Chennai: The Governor of Tamil Nadu, Sri Surjit Singh Barnala (no mean artist himself), was quite impressed with the artworks of Adyar Poonga and he commissioned five plywood paintings for the entrance of his official residence.
Toll plazas along the ECR from Chennai to Pondicherry: Eye catching paintings of local wildlife on Kadappa stone were erected at both tool gates between Chennai and Puducherry. Some of the paintings have been reduced to a sorry state since they have not been repainted since they were erected 9 years ago. There is a point we would like to make: if artworks are left out in direct sunlight the colours will fade and repainting will have to be undertaken every three years or so.
Niligiri Biosphere Reserve Park, Anaikatti (near Coimbatore): This is an eco-park that is visited by many tourists and school groups. Sensitizing them to wildlife is an essential part and in this context some paintings and models were developed which enhanced both conservation education and recreation.
Gass Forest Museum, Coimbatore: This is one of the oldest museums in the country. The job was to refurbish the museum and give it a more aesthetic look without compromising the collections already existing in the museum. The work needed quite a bit of ingenuity and involved creation of life size sculptures of large animals, interpretative signage, indoor landscaping, refurbishing of antique furniture and models, and the cleaning and remounting of the hundreds of animal trophies and skins contained in the collection. The highlight of the exhibition space is a three dimensional diorama approximately 25m x 3m depicting a rocky forest landscape replete with sculptures of a Tiger, a family of Lion-tailed Macaques, an Indian Python swallowing a Spotted Deer, a King Cobra, Ficus Tree and innumerable other minor items. Even the stuffed Gaur presented by the Maharaja of Mysore and a few other fully stuffed specimens were used to give a realistic feel to the exhibit.
Snake Interpretation Centre, Department of Forests and Wildlife, Puducherry: This involved showcasing the four common venomous snakes of peninsular India (Spectacled Cobra, Indian Krait, Russell’s Viper and Saw-scaled Viper) and their mimics for the education of the general public. It involved life sized sculptures of nine snakes for an outdoor public space in addition to interpretative signage.