A group of motorcycle enthusiasts are turning to helmet art to create awareness about the importance of wearing helmets while riding.
Could art inspire one to wear a helmet while riding? The recent Motoart Show at Bombay Art Society set out to do just this, as a motoart-themed exhibition put on display artistic helmets and motoart artwork painted by artists renowned in the space. The beautifully-painted helmets, all of which featured vibrant designs and colours, were as much a treat to look at as they will be to wear.
The exhibition was organised by Helmets for India, a group dedicated to creating awareness about the importance of wearing helmets, and was just the beginning of their year-long campaign. “For me, motorcycles are a piece of art and I love art, so I wanted to combine the art scene with the motorcycle community and the motorcycle industry,” says Neils-Peter Jensen, avid biker and founder of Helmets for India, when asked what inspired him to turn to art to create awareness.
Talking about the show, Mallika Prakash, curator of the Motoart Show and Project Manager (India) for Helmets for India, says, “The helmets featured in the exhibition were specially painted by 25 artists from around the world, including five from India – IRONic, Eimor Customs, Moto Machao, Mallika Prakash and Womeneoteric Customs. The helmets will be put up for auction at the end of the year and there might be an online auction as well, so that it’s easier for people to participate. The money collected will be used to purchase 1000 helmets, which will be distributed to motorcycle riders in India by the Helmets for India team.”
The Helmets for India group actually has an interesting formation story, as it was founded by extreme sports TV presenter, Jensen, after he visited India last year to shoot for a TV show. He says, “I fell in love with the country and the people, but I also witnessed a bad accident. People got badly hurt and to my surprise, they were not wearing helmets. A lot of people in India don't wear helmets, especially kids and mothers. I wanted to show people that helmets are a cool accessory — an item that looks awesome and can save your life as well. So, I created a charity-adventure-road trip and connected to the art scene in the motorcycle community.”
Helmets for India’s road trip saw the team and a few bikers from Mumbai, undertake a Mumbai-Goa trip during which helmets were given to people in need. The whole trip was documented, and Jensen says the footage will be put to good use. “The whole road trip was covered on film and via still pictures. With the material, we will create a coffee table book and a documentation. The 25 painted helmets will be showcased at cool motorcycle events and film festivals across Europe. We are also trying to get this project into magazines around the world so that we can muster support from the motorcycle fraternity and fund another charity-adventure-road trip where we will give out more free helmets,” shares Jensen.