Growing up in a rapidly-developing city in the Himalayan foothills, Poorva has witnessed streams, forests and wildlife disappearing. The sense of loss urges her to question the grand narrative of development. She uses comics to document alternative narratives of people, places and paradigms. This drive to spark discourse motivates her art practice.
As a graphic storyteller, Poorva collaborates with a range of experts across disciplines, such as field biologists, independent researchers, social and environmental movements and organizations. She has worked on graphic publications, reporting stories of marginalised communities striving towards conservation, food sovereignty, self-governance and rights of rivers. Her work has been exhibited in various spaces. Using the frameworks of comic journalism, Poorva has documented and reported labour issues in Rajasthan and the environment-development conflict in the Western Ghats, central and northeast India.
For the past three years, Poorva has been working on her first graphic novel that is based on her travels to the Sharavati River Valley, Karnataka, documenting her experiences and interactions; trying to understand the development-environment conflict.
Poorva graduated in Contemporary Art Practices from Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore, where the interdisciplinary education allowed her to explore different forms of storytelling such as conceptual work, film, and animation. Outside the classroom, she developed a cartoon-making practice. Using a personal voice, she appears as a character in her cartoons, commentating on everyday life. In recent years, the rising violence against communities and nature in India has led to a natural shift towards socio-political commentary in her work. She combines drawings, handwritten text and humour, using both traditional and digital media. As a quiet, sensitive child, Poorva had embodied the characteristics of an observer and listener, which later shaped her voice as a cartoonist. She is looking forward to pursuing a master’s program in Graphic Storytelling this year.
Creative practice and social practice meet at various intersections, which is often a challenge to sustain but is the space Poorva wishes to create for herself. Combing comics and journalism, Poorva hopes to communicate realities in the hope of a world where people choose cooperation over competition.