Banish the barriers of your mind. Free yourself from the cage of your ego. Reflect ‘beyond’ the metaphysical borders around you. Re-imagine your physical spaces. Create a sacred space bereft of borders, that lets your spirit cross many new thresholds. Let your many identities blossom. Open your eyes to the harmony of co-existence… these were the many themes through which artists at the recently-concluded Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2016 expressed themselves, sharing their visions for a better world and a better tomorrow.
The theme ‘Crossing the Threshold’ upheld the spirit of unification for a global purpose — the urgent need for people to come together to preserve Planet Earth.
The visual art installations at Rampart Row, adorned with a profusion of colours represented physical spaces, grids, textures, identities, and connections designed to form ever-evolving, dynamic spaces that eliminate social limitations and encourage social and cultural interactivity.
Co-existence or no existence; Beyond borders; Fragmented collective; Preserve or perish — these narratives were best expressed using scrap and other recycled materials to convey the significance of sustainability in today’s world.
My Chai Tamasha
Artist: Ritu Dua
Used tea bags were stitched together to form a hanging basket. For those who love tea, this was a quotidian art of a new kind. The backdrop against which this installation was presented is another example of extinction. Rhythm House, an icon on the cultural and musical landscape of South Mumbai. In this case though, we can only recycle stories from our memories.
Artist: Purva Pandit
Imagination touches the sky, creating a canopy of colours. The artist Purva Pandit used cycle tyres to create this art installation – both funky and immediately appealing with its bright hues and soaring design.
The Duo – For Freedom
Artist: Chandrakanth Ganacharya
This installation cleverly used recycled wooden poles in a melange of colours, placing them in a way which initially confused the viewer, before slowly revealing his representation of Picasso. The inspirations behind The Duo – For Freedom were two revolutionary giants, Picasso and Gandhi, who followed two different routes of freedom, the creative and non-violent, but shared a single vision of change for a better society. Ganacharya said, “The creative route is through Picasso’s eye and the non-violent route through the virtues of Mahatma Gandhi.”
Together as One
Artist: Gopal Namjoshi
We were inspired by the artist’s storytelling and his theme of Boundless Frontiers: only when we are open to the idea of coexistence, can we live in harmony. Namjoshi broadcast an inspirational message – using scrap, he conveyed how the bird within us can be as beautiful as a peacock and fly to limitless horizons.
Since art is meant to be left open to interpretation, the placement of ‘Killer’ next to the man sitting idly as seen in the pictures here, made me wonder how humans in the wake of urbanisation have destroyed much of our planet. I left mulling over how important it is now for each one of us to focus on sustaining the earth’s rapidly depleting resources.
Artist: Pooza Kataria
This installation got every one thinking, asking questions, imagining and exploring our creative sides. In this art piece, the artist asked viewers to reflect beyond the borders of region, religion and culture and be free of limitations. The borders were represented through many pieces of fabric, designed to be burnt. This was done to suggest to the viewer how to break free of self-created barriers. The artist’s goal was to help viewers engage with the piece and therefore, find a new form of themselves within, as reflected in the mirrors placed at an angle. The way the fabric moved in the wind suggested a sense of freedom, said the artist.
By The Naval Dockyard, Mumbai
For the first time ever, the Naval Dockyard of Mumbai with its rich organisational history participated in the festival and presented innovative, life-size street installations, using waste. The Penguin, the Robot, the Warrior, and the Black Stallion were part of the Dock’s creative repertoire displayed at Rampart Row.
This post first appeared on the Discern Living Design Blog.
All pictures, barring those with sources mentioned, have been shot by Sharmi Dey.