Mumbai: Painting puts edgy vibe on Carter Road skate park in Bandra

Updated: 17 October, 2020 07:36 IST | Hemal Ashar | Mumbai

Carter Road skate park gets eye-catching paint job, as Bandra BMXers and skateboarders rev up their sport

Artist Sanskar Sawant said the architecture of the park resonated with him. Pics/ Bipin Kokate
Artist Sanskar Sawant said the architecture of the park resonated with him. Pics/ Bipin Kokate

You can't go to heaven on roller skates, for you'll roll right past those pearly gates, but for BMXers and skateboarders, heaven is a piece of earth at Carter Road, Bandra West. The tony promenade has a newly painted skate park, literally putting more colour into the lives of high rollers, living near the swish suburb's hippest slice of real estate and for those growing band of skateboarders who now have an inviting surface to prove it's all about going flippin' crazy.

This park, divided into North and South, had a very low key opening because of COVID-19 about two months ago. While skaters and BMXers were using one part, the other part was cordoned off and being painted.

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Said Altamash Sayed, founder, Bombay SB, a skateboarding community and builders of skate parks, and makers of Xgame arenas, "This is a passion-driven project, and the pastel and bright colours highlight an architectural landmark. It is a collaborative effort along with Bandra Collective (a group of architects and designers) and the effort was to make this into a public street plaza."

The painting

For artist Sanskar Sawant, who has a design studio called Homework, the skate park was an attention-getter. Sawant said, "I once went for a drive during the lockdown, and happened to see this skatepark. The surface, its undulations, sharp edges, curves, it all resonated with me as I see architecture as my canvas." Sawant used the direct approach, going up to Sayed and telling him, I would like to paint this. Sayed agreed and just like that, the space turned into painting and park for the artist.

Board games

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Armed with paint and inspiration Sawant started working on the project in collaboration with Esportz. Sawant drew not just from a challenging, appealing surface, but from his love for board games too. "I love board games and I thought to myself, why not see skating as a board game? That has been the motif of this work — looking through the prism of, 'If skating was a board game'." In fact, his work evoked curiosity and questions. It's edgy, urban look struck a chord with others, with several onlookers asking if they could chip in with painting.

A marriage

On Friday evening, the work was complete, with a marriage of bright and pastel, a stand out on the Bandra Boulevard. Said Sanskar, "This is a marriage between Homework studio and Bombay SB. It is called Hype in the City." Its checkerboard corner, pink, blue and a bit of yellow is a bit magical, a lot of madcap, but it works. This is a space that lends itself to those who make statements on wheels. Imagine skaters in jeans hanging precariously low on hips, or long shorts, wearing oversized tees with cheeky lettering like, 'High rollers not cheap skates', and caps worn backwards and you just get the vibe of a place that puts the bohemian into Bandra.

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Ashish Shelar said, "This is all a part of the beautification work and the money has also come from my MLA fund. We are looking at making skating and spaces for the same more accessible. This adds a new dimension to the promenade as a whole."

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First Published: 17 October, 2020 07:25 IST

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