Animal Rebirth!

Animania at Gallery BMB. Image courtesy Design Temple

Animania – a graphic art show, curated by Divya Thakur of Design Temple rekindles our love for animals. The concept of the show has a group of international artists working on graphic visuals inspired by the animals venerated in Indian Mythology as deities and vahans(vehicles).

The show is a good reminder of the beauty and the significance of these animals in our world today as most of these animals are on the brink of extinction. The 7 individuals including Thakur herself are; Ingela P Arrhenius(from Sweden), Josh Brill (USA), Christian Montenegro (of Argentina), Leandro Castelao (Argentina), Seijiro Kubo (Japan) and Lokesh Karekar (Mumbai).

Animals till this day are worshipped and play an essential role in our culture. The artists were given a brief on the significance of these animals in Indian mythology and were asked to interpret their individual understanding in their own inimitable style. Each of these graphic designers were chosen based on their unique style and their use of the medium.

Animania inspired diary. Image courtesy Design Temple

Design Temple is using the power of design to spread the word and is working closely with an NGO called Wildlife SOS to help rehabilitate these animals. Designers at Design Temple have interpreted the work of these artists by creating products like, diaries, prints, rugs, playing cards and alphabet books have been neatly crafted. These products can be integrated in our daily lives and serve as reminders of the cause. These products and the artist’s prints have renewed the image of these animals in a contemporary way to adapt to changes in our culture and society.

I was fortunate to have been invited by my friend Amishi (designer at Design Temple) to be a part of the opening night. She introduced me to two of the artists; Montenegro and Castelao that were present at the show in Bombay to experience the culture and reactions first hand. They spoke about how earlier that day they visited chor bazaar (thieves market) and scored some old graphic Bollywood posters. They spoke about how chor bazaar reminded them of a similar market in Argentina.

It was a fun-filled evening and the show was very inspiring and I was certainly moved. I was especially moved by Montenegro’s piece, his choice of animal was the Gharial. It was a stylized piece of work, using bold colors and organic textures the gharial came alive and was reborn.

The show was well attended by socialites and members from the film world like Rahul Khanna, Rahul Bose and Amol Gupte. I am most likely going back tomorrow and highly recommend everyone in Bombay to experience it as well.

The show is being showcased Nov 24-28 at Gallery BMB in Bombay and then the show travels to Delhi. In Delhi it will be showcased at The Lodi, Dec 4-7.

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