Illustrating Mumbai at a panel discussion in Fort

Updated: Jun 09, 2019, 08:56 IST | Prutha Bhosle

A panel discussion on the influence of illustrators on Mumbai's evolving visual aesthetic will be held on June 20 in the city

Illustrating Mumbai at a panel discussion in Fort
Cyrus Daruwala's illustrations profile the unusual characters found in local trains; (top) Mira Malhotra's Suswagatam series. Pic courtesy/Kulture shop

The art of illustration has often been used by many to truly personify and chronicle the spirit of Mumbai. From RK Laxman's instantly recognisable comic-strip character, The Common Man, which represented the aspirations and foibles of an average Indian, to illustrated Snapchat and Instagram stickers of colloquial phrases, this art form has evolved through decades. As the scope of illustration has extended across mediums such as apparel, street art, motion graphics, social media tools and advertising campaigns, a panel discussion around the influence of illustrators on Mumbai's visual aesthetic will be held in the city.

This event on June 20 is being presented by the NGMA, Ministry of Culture, government of India and Avid Learning. Illustrator and founder of Studio Kohl, Mira Malhotra, graphic designer Aniruddh Mehta and mid-day cartoonist Cyrus Daruwala will be in conversation with design writer Bindu Nair. Malhotra, who grew up in Saudi Arabia and moved to Mumbai when she turned 11, says, "I have a different way of looking at the city. While most people overlook important things in the city, I tend to notice every mood and that's how my illustrations usually come into being."

Malhotra's personal favourite is Sameer Kulavoor's The Ghoda Cycle Project that documents the myriad avatars of bicycles in India. Interestingly, Daruwala also shares the same adoration for Kulavoor's this particular series. "He does a great job of identifying the city, its people and the mood," he says. Not forgetting to mention the famous Mario Miranda's works, Daruwala adds, "The way he captured the people and the ambience of the city in his sketches is beautiful. A few of his illustrations that I adore are put up at Leopold."

But, Daruwala agrees that the medium of creating illustrations has evolved in that past few years. "A lot of artistes are now using digital tools to sketch landscape, people and even architecture instead of making caricatures on paper. Definitely, a lot has changed since RK Laxman," he adds.
This talk will be a part of Avid's Multipolis Mumbai Series that decodes the past while looking to the future and finding novel ways of engaging, interacting with and re-energising the city we love.

When: June 20; 6 PM to 8 PM
Where: NGMA, MG Road, Fort

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