An outsider's arty view of Bandra

Updated: Nov 25, 2014, 09:50 IST | Hassan M Kamal |

Check out art installations and paintings by 40 artists from across India as they capture the queen of suburbs from an outsider’s perspective, as a part of the Celebrate Bandra Festival

Get ready to gaze at a few extraordinary installations and eye-catching artworks around Bandra, as the Celebrate Bandra festival returns for another arty edition, starting today.

An auto rickshaw converted into a limousine by Tyrell Valladares explores the import-ance of the three-wheeler for Mumbai-kars
An auto rickshaw converted into a limousine by Tyrell Valladares explores the importance of the three-wheeler for Mumbaikars

Apart from dance, music, theatre and workshops, the festival (that will go on till November 30) will also have art installations and paintings displayed across public spaces in Bandra, including prominent areas like Carter Road and Bandstand Promenade, along with some unorthodox places like banks and salons.

An art installation on display as part of the Celebrate Bandra festival
An art installation on display as part of the Celebrate Bandra festival

Minali Thakkar, art head of the festival explains, “We want people to stroll around Bandra and be wowed looking at an amazing piece of art work sitting beside them, on pavements, in banks, salons, wherever they go.”

Installations from last year’s edition of Celebrate Bandra festival
Installations from last year’s edition of Celebrate Bandra festival

Thakkar informs that the current edition of Celebrate Bandra includes works by nearly 40 artists from across India, who are coming together to portray their perception of Bandra. “Unlike last year, when we had artists from Bandra expressing their views on the queen of suburbs, this year we have invited artists from different states (most have never been to Bandra) to observe the suburb, and create works based on their perception. The idea is to interpret Bandra from an outsider’s point of view. The resulting artworks are beautiful,” she adds.

An artwork inspired by actor Amitabh Bachchan
An artwork inspired by actor Amitabh Bachchan

While one of the installations emphasises the significance of mangroves, another explores the web of buses that crisscross Bandra. There’s also an artwork that looks at the economic and social differences that exist between Bandra and other parts of India, and a map of places frequented by couples, including areas like Carter Road and Bandstand.

“The artworks are aimed to create a dialogue about Bandra, and while doing so making people aware of the things which they may not notice otherwise. For example, artist Yash Patel has painted Rubik’s cubes with Bandra landmarks. He sits with his cubes and asks kids to solve the cubes, which is a beautiful way to create awareness about the heritage of Bandra, and also serves an inspiration for people to solve its problems,” says Thakkar.

Among other works that are worth noticing are Kanika Bawa’s 24-ft-high statue of a happy man doing Surya Namaskar that explores the fitness element in Bandra, a floating roof created by artist Dushyant Ashar using helium balloons exploring the need for housing in the city, and a limousine made from an auto rickshaw to denote the importance of the three-wheeled vehicle for the common man. Adding a Bollywood touch to the festival is a portrait of Amitabh Bachchan.

There’s more. Thakkar informs that there are several other works, on the wall of MET institute, which looks at how we are moving away from real relationships and getting increasingly engrossed in the web via social networks like Facebook and instant messaging services like WhatsApp.

“We want people to take a break from their mobile phones and pay attention to real relationships,” she reiterates.

The MET wall, she says, will also have a community report card, which will rate Bandra on various parameters, including popularity on the web as compared to real-life relations.

So, if you wish to get up, close and personal with Bandra, and are keen to figure what makes it special, head to the Celebrate Bandra festival.

Till November 30
At In and around Bandra (West; Carter Road, MET institute, Bandstand).
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