Mumbai Art Commission finally finds two worthy art installation ideas

Updated: May 26, 2019, 07:34 IST | Arita Sarkar

The ideas came from H West ward and both are proposed to be installed near Otters Club at Carter Road

Mumbai Art Commission finally finds two worthy art installation ideas
Krishna Kedar and his idea

After looking through several proposals that came in over the past couple of months from across the city, the Mumbai Commission for Art, Culture and Music finally found two of them to be worthy of display. While the committee members liked the two proposals that were submitted earlier this month, they have certain reservations about the proposed location and will have a discussion about it at the next meeting on June 6.

The ideas came from H West ward and both are proposed to be installed near Otters Club at Carter Road. One of the proposals has been submitted by actor-artist Lekha Washington. Her idea involves a large sculpture of the moon, whose different phases can be seen from different angles. Based on her proposal, the moon will be mounted at a height of 25-32 feet on top of metal poles, which would be hidden behind trees to make it seem as though it is floating in the sky. Washington said her idea of the sculpture was inspired by her installation of a burning helium moon at Burning Man Festival last year. "I was excited to use the trees as part of the installation.

Lekha Washington and her idea
Lekha Washington and her idea

As all public art should be, the idea is to let people connect with the art in a visceral way," she said, adding that it took three months to design the project. The sculpture will be 10 feet tall and will be made of stainless steel and copper. The moon will also have holes that resemble the craters on the surface of the moon to allow wind flow. Highlighting the importance of the project, the proposal states that research has shown that tides, caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon, can affect one's mood. This, along with physical activity at the promenade, ensures an upliftment of mood and well-being.

Krishna Kedar
Krishna Kedar

Krishna Kedar, the other artist, has proposed creating a sculpture of ocean waves using tennis racquets and will be made out of metal and fibre to make it weatherproof. The sculpture, 8 feet tall and 15 feet wide, will include rising ocean waves behind a tennis court. In his proposal, Kedar describes ocean waves to symbolise hope and obstacles in life and the idea of using tennis racquets signifies abundance of opportunities.

An official from the civic body's Heritage Department said the proposals started coming in since February and till date, the committee has received 27 proposals, none of which were up to the mark. During the last meeting on May 8, despite appreciating the ideas, the committee members discussed finding an appropriate location for the artwork. "The committee asked the department to conduct a site inspection of the proposed location. After the visit, a report has been prepared and it will be submitted to the committee," said the official, adding that both the artists will be asked to give a presentation of their proposals to the committee at the next meeting.

Lekha Washington
Lekha Washington

One of the committee members, architect Ratan Batliboi said that the proposals have to provide some sort of sensibility and tell a story. "They are both spectacular ideas and are what the quality of art should be in Mumbai. Art needs to be experiential and has to attract people to interpret it and be immersed in it," he said. Referring to the contentions over the location, he said that the committee will discuss the findings of the inspection report. "There are too many things at that location. The placement of the art installations have to be done holistically."

Washington and Kedar's proposals were both submitted on May 7 and both are likely to be approved. The projects will be funded by RPG Art Foundation and they will have the responsibility of bearing the cost of construction as well as maintenance.

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