Art and fashion mingle as designers extend their talent and creativity to bring public art projects to life.
As you drive down the busy Peddar Road in Mumbai, the sight of a thousand embroidered hoops immediately overwhelms you, wafting through the mild winter breeze. The white walls of Jindal House make for a lovely canvas, playing hide-and-seek with these technicolor strings. Made with different fabrics from all over India, the hoops are strung together to form a simple message of love by designer Manish Arora.
Inspired by his personal life philosophy, ‘All We Need is Love’, the designs interpret the emotion in different forms. Created with yards of cloth, either hand embroidered or printed, close to 2,400 pieces were pieced together to create the finished look. The installation was the result of six months of ideating, 35 artisans and three months of execution.
“The inclusive fabric installation aims to evoke emotions of love, harmony and peace, and encourages passers-by to stop and think of all the natural and real beauty in the world. I want people to stop and ponder when they look at the installation and for that minute, feel pure unadulterated love,” says Manish, who has always thought of himself as an artist and a designer and never limited his creativity.
The project is a part of St+art and started when they approached him over a year ago with the idea to collaborate on an inclusive piece of art. “We were waiting for the right platform to create art that would touch many lives and evoke positive emotions of love and harmony. When the Jindals decided to participate in the Urban Art Festival and allowed us to use their iconic heritage office-cum-residence in Mumbai, we knew we had the best canvas to bring this artwork to life. We hope ‘All We Need Is Love’ is able to strike a chord of love, peace and harmony with everyone who sees it,” says Manish.
Interestingly, back in 2015, designer Krsna Mehta had put up an installation titled Vertical Mayhem at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, representing the beauty and chaos of Mumbai. While the mingling of the art and fashion worlds is not a modern concept, the visibility of this crossover is unfortunately rare in the mainstream.
“Works of fashion designers are usually categorised for the elite and the exclusive, so having that talent work in a public space gives everyone access to the world of fashion —it’s a breath of fresh air which could inspire, provoke or spark debate. Also, it is interesting to see how an artist approaches a project and there is so much you can learn from a single concept,” says fashion blogger Pallavi Singh.
Fashion designer Nimish Shah also believes in the idea of fashion designers collaborating on public art projects. “As designers, we are often busy with mass production of a single creative idea, but to work on a larger-than-life project that would be accessible to the masses is a thrilling idea and very fulfilling to the creative senses of a designer,” says Nimish.
Krsnaa Mehta says
Art is crucial to all our lives and can be found even in the most unsuspecting aspects of the world around us. But it is often missed in the hustle-bustle of our daily lives.
Public art, is most often a reflection of society or a projection of the artists’ emotions. As an artist who has often created installations and played with many mediums, I feel that public art brings the art straight to a mass viewer ship. It makes people stop, wonder, introspect or just soak the in sight. Most importantly, it gets people talking about art and expression.