Add a ray of sunshine

Updated: Jul 27, 2020, 12:17 IST | Sukanya Datta | Mumbai

An art collaboration between a SoBo gallery and a health start-up aims to brighten up healthcare spaces and workers

Artworks by Kshitija Gurav
Artworks by Kshitija Gurav

Imagine looking at dull, white walls for days while recovering from a lethal disease, or treating patients surrounded by the constant fear of a virus. Now, visualise a pop of colours in a painting, or a happy poster depicting healthcare workers as superheroes, or gulmohars blossoming out of a frame on the same walls; suddenly, the hospital doesn't seem so dreary. This is the idea driving the initiative titled A Brighter Day — a collaboration between Kala Ghoda-based art space, Method, and DIY.health, a start-up — which aims to uplift the spirits of medical workers, patients and their families through art.

Dr Swapneil Parikh, co-founder, DIY.health, which has been working on innovations in the battle against the pandemic, says the thought struck him four months ago. "Having worked with healthcare workers, we've noticed the kind of effect the whole situation has been having on their mental health. All these [medical] spaces are very sterile, lacking colour or cheer," explains Dr Parikh, adding that he then reached out to his friend and Method founder Sahil Arora, who came up with the idea of A Brighter Day. They posted an open call to artists, asking them to send in artworks that "can put a smile on the faces of people in these spaces", shares Arora. "While it may seem like a small contribution, it's something that can contribute to the overall mental wellbeing of healthcare workers and patients."

Shreya Tingal
Shreya Tingal

Their first installation is being set up at the inflatable field unit that the start-up is building at Tata Memorial Hospital in Parel. True to the theme, the 500-plus artworks, sent by over 200 artists from across India, which are on the initiative's website, are like "sunshine amid all this darkness", Arora feels. "While some of them celebrate frontline workers, there are some with scenes from the city that lend a sense of normalcy," he adds.

Art, especially, uplifting creations, can stir something in people, feels Dr Parikh. "Vincent Willem van Gogh is a great example. While he suffered so much, his artwork is so vibrant. A project like this helps create an environment that's conducive to good mental health," he explains. The duo tells us that they hope to expand the project to other healthcare spaces, in the future, as everyone deserves to have a bright day.

Dr Swapneil Parikh and Sahil Arora
Dr Swapneil Parikh and Sahil Arora

Log on to abrighterday.in to view the artworks

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