Valay Gada is an artist who primarily works as a sculptor in recycled metal and glass. His work reflects the concerns linked to the impact of urbanisation and climate change on the natural world. His larger-than-life hyper-realistic botanical works are hybrids, distorted by either manmade genetic modification or the effect of a hostile environment, often possessing a looming and menacing beauty. He anthropomorphises the natural world, using the optic of evolution to aggressive environments and manmade genetic engineering to juxtapose them against anthropogenic processes, religion and mythology, as a comment on human folly. His work is inspired by the organic environment and his Jain faith, to do no harm.
As his work matures, it has become more political in response to issues of human and animal rights, freedom of speech and sexual orientation in India. In addition, his work is influenced by being born in Mumbai and living in New Delhi, two of the world's most densely populated and polluted megalopolises. Where issues of displacement, landgrab and disempowerment of migrant and bonded labour, who build the cities, are rampant. With the intense pressure of urbanisation and lack of public space, his work explores the context of forests to parks, children's journals and herbariums, aerial views of cities from the night skies, and the contrast of laboratories and natural history museums relating to India's post-colonial past. He creates small worlds of the imagination and safe mental health spaces as coping mechanisms for the marginalised and repressed, and a window into minority worlds of faith, caste and sexuality.
Valay honed his skill from his background in Fashion Lifestyle & Accessories Design at NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, India) after graduating in English Literature. He won the "Trends Excellence Awards in Architecture & Design" 2016 for Product Design-Accessories and "Elle Decor" International Design Award (EDIDA) 2014 for Young Talent from India.
His design practice is inspired by a classical tradition seeking to preserve the very best of Indian culture in terms of both artisanal tradition and fine craftsmanship, blending this with the best of contemporary design.