Dubai-based artist Atul Panase, the curator of World Art Dubai 2018, with his anti-smoking installation, titled ‘Bollards of Life’

DUBAI: A ‘No Smoking’ art work caught the attention of visitors at World Art Dubai that concluded earlier this week.

The brainchild of Atul Panase, who is also the curator of World Art Dubai, the artwork was made from over 15,000 cigarette butts collected from all over the city. He also used bollards (parking lot boundary markers) that he found in his neighbourhood.

“I clicked some pictures of bollards during my morning walk and shared them with my friends.

“A lot of them said they looked like cigarette butts, so I decided to use them as well in my installation,” said Panase.

Personal motive

Besides the obvious message of the artwork, Panase cited personal reasons for coming up with the no-smoking themed creation which has been titled ‘Bollards of Life’.

“A couple of years ago I worked with one of the renowned cigarette makers. But at the end of the project I felt guilty because I couldn’t help thinking that my art actually promoted the habit of smoking. This new artwork is my way of overcoming and dealing with that guilt,” said Panase, who has been working with World Art Dubai for over two years.

Panase, who took part in the recently concluded Clean Up Drive at Kite Beach to collect the butts, said the installation which has four major themes took over two weeks to complete.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without my friend Prashant Mulaokar, who is a great metal and glass crafter. He is truly a magician,” said the 51-year-old.

The four themes, spanning four stages or zones, include a graffiti work at the start and end with Michael Angelo, Gustav Klimt’s Kiss and Edvard Munch’s Scream with real cigarette butts.

“The second and third themes depict the pain and suffering of a passive smoker as well as the arduous death a smoker goes through,” said Panase, whose father was a chain smoker. “Something that really cost my family dearly,” he added.

Panase is currently in talks with several healthcare centres where he can showcase the artwork to discourage the habit of smoking.