Mumbai: Illustrations on Art Deco buildings to be seen soon

Updated: Feb 08, 2019, 09:05 IST | Dalreen Ramos

A Mumbai-based artist has created a series of illustrations on Art Deco buildings in the city soon to be released as prints

Mumbai: Illustrations on Art Deco buildings to be seen soon
Bank of India Building, Fort

Buildings aren't like silent observers - the facades, columns, signage are tangible fragments of memory. Walk by Oval Maidan, take a glimpse at the Art Deco buildings - embedded with geometric shapes featuring rounded balconies, and a strong colour contrast - and you're instantly transported into the 1920s, an era of trams and horse-driven carriages.

Eros Cinema, Churchgate
Eros Cinema, Churchgate

But Mumbai-based illustrator Shivani Parasnis realised that we often miss the minute details. And so, inspired by photographer Kuber Shah's architectural photography on Instagram, she decided to collaborate with him and capture the essence of Art Deco buildings through a series of eight illustrations.

Liberty Cinema, Marine Lines
Liberty Cinema, Marine Lines

The project also fell in line with her academic work at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, where Parasnis is a graduate student. "Coincidentally, for one of my projects, I was supposed to follow a daily design practice for a certain number of days and publish a set of thematic posters around any subject of my interest. I could see the pieces of the puzzle come together and I just knew I had to work with him!" she says.

Don Bosco School, Matunga
Don Bosco School, Matunga

Following a bold yet minimal style for her artwork, Parasnis highlights the architectural significance of structures like the Eros Theatre or Liberty Cinema by using a colour palette that is true to the past.

Talking about the process, Parasnis says, "It seems easy but is hard to achieve, especially when the buildings have details that define its structure and cannot be ignored. The process of illustrating was thus, mostly a constant dilemma of how much detail to include and how much of it should be left out," she tells us, adding that the project also involved a lot of research as she also wanted to add pointers about the architects, the foundation year, and the style of elements inside the buildings.

Shivani Parasnis
Shivani Parasnis

With the surge in artists creating architecture-based illustrations, Parasnis maintains that her collaborative project is an ongoing one. She says, "Kuber and I are currently working on publishing archival prints and posters of these illustrations, that will available to purchase soon. We are continuing to brew more illustrations, so I believe some day we would definitely love to turn it into something substantial that people can own."

FOLLOW HER ON: @shivaniparasnis on Instagram

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