Located in the bustling Kemps Corner and diagonally opposite the Mahalakshmi temple is a charming, peaceful haven for art connoisseurs and design-friendly folk, in the form of Aurobodh. Launched in March this year, the 300 square feet store has an inviting aura and is filled with soothing sounds.
The brainchild of Jesal Thacker, a graduate from the Sir JJ School of Fine Arts (with a specialisation in painting), the idea behind Aurobodh is to help people awaken their inherent creativity. Thacker runs an independent publishing house titled Bodhana and is a believer of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy, which merged in the title Aurobodh.
Priyam Mehta, Co-ordinator and Assistant at Aurobodh spells things out, “The design space aims to open up a spot that merges art galleries and design stores which are otherwise accessible only to a select few.
In summer, we hosted workshops for kids where children were guided to sketch, mould clay and create T-shirts. Its focus was to ensure children were able to learn new aspects about themselves through art and we stressed on shapes, textures and colours.” This month will see them kick start creative workshops and host art shows as well.
Doll bag has an assortment of musical instruments (Rs 2,350)
“We want to encourage people to drop in, experience the instruments, create sounds, gaze at art and browse through the books. The aim is to offer products that are not found anywhere else and make art accessible to everyone.
We offer something unique for each of our visitors, be it an art collector, a music lover, a creative junkie or a playful child. Art and its manifestations shouldn’t be limited to galleries,” shares Jesal Thacker, adding that they plan to tie up with NGOs in the future to host events that raise awareness about social issues. Most products on display have been sourced from Pondicherry as well as from other parts of Mumbai.
Aurobodh’s products have a unique twist to it, so while wind chimes are also available elsewhere, these come in aluminum, copper and bronze (` 1,000 onwards) and are based on Indian raagas. The sounds are inspired by elements of nature such as water, wind, and air.
Art for all
While artworks are at times prohibitively expensive, Aurobodh displays affordable artworks and photographs by upcoming artists alongside paintings by the biggies. We liked the Dashavtar paintings as well as the artworks by Vishal Pawar and Amit Ramani. Don’t miss the sketches of Mumbai landmarks by Yashmi Kantak.
The store stocks a range of products designed by famous artists including Atul Dodiya coasters (` 350 for a set of six), Ram Kumar postcards (` 500 each), Shilpa Gupta mugs (` 295), and the SH Raza diary (` 1,100).
Acoustic quirk gets an all-new meaning with the cutesy Doll bag (` 2,350) complete with a rattle, drum and whistle, Palmyra nut shaker (` 550), and Storm Drums (` 900 each) that recreate the sounds of a storm. Also on sale are hand-painted scarves (` 1,950) and books on art, some of which are by their in-house publishing company Bodhana.