The project that emerged is an exploration of the environment I was immersed into, the beginnings of something palpable. It represented my relationship to my surrounding spaces, which were most times confined by people. How I used the spaces and navigated India was organic and predetermined ordered chaos. The people I met along the way became the nodes of interest, which were lingering moments that then transformed into to patterns. Groups of women became splashes of vibrant warm hues and men cool and neutral shades. So, yes this is a painting of people, but the act of building my canvas, with reclaimed wood, and the placement of each figure became an act of navigation, which was my Indian experience. The navigation between planks and figures created voids and solids that are experienced in all environmental design. The people become set into the foreground and background creating depth but also a feeling of a crowd.
At the end of the day I don’t consider myself just designer because I am in the environmental design stream. I am a creator. My Indian experience has solidified that my discipline is not just one but many. This project is a reflection of the hats I choose to portray today which are an artist, a producer, and a designer.
Click on video link below:
The Finally Video
As we fell into place with the routine of everyday life. As we fell into place with the routine of the train. As we fell into place with the people, we have changed. Design is no longer an intimate process but a collaborative one that u have to keep going back to.
The collaborative journey was a long and hard one, although only two weeks. We accomplished the commencement of an identity that will continue to flourish, Created by a community of unknown and foreign designers. The people that were met along the way were gracious, giving, happy and loving. I looked forward to the children’s laughter and greetings as we arrived. To hear the words ” I miss you” from Ajay made my last day at Sadhana a joy as he gave us each a parting gift.
The end of the journey was a joyous one as we danced the night away in our colourful saris. the morning brought goodbyes and hidden emotions as I parted for journey back to Toronto.
Where do I start? Walking into the slum of Dharavi, Mumbai was an experience. We were welcomed with colour. Skepticism and uncertainty rushed through me as we entered a world that was littered with trash and compacted with people. In the eyes of the beholders the trash was opportunity. Every item that was thrown out was shifted through, sorted and reclaimed to create items that were sold across India and America. We stood on the corrugated rooftop where every space was utilized to maximize productivity. The workers were dedicated and focused working diligently with little to no protection. Aluminum was melted in a tank top, gloves and sandals. The glow of the fire and streams of sunlight were the only illumination required to perform the necessary task. The compact maze of buildings had an interior pathway system that was a feat to navigate and even our native tour guide, Fahim, still got lost from time to time. The slum was divided logically by industry (clay, metal, plastic, cardboard, textiles etc.) with housing in its own division. Our two-hour came to an end and an amazing adventure that started with cautious steps ended with cricket bats and dancing, as we engaged with the amazing locals.
India can be described as colourful, which is mostly referring to the people and there clothing. Natures most beautiful colours are created around us waiting to be captured and, the Malavli sky is the perfect place to start.
The man made elements are juxtaposed with the softness and brilliance of the sky. The black train cables create an abstract print against the mauve and purple gradient. The masterful concrete house is complimented by the saturated cobalt backdrop. Then there is the light that lights up just enough of the tree trunks so that it glows before the on looking stars. How does this simplicity in life not just bring you joy? That one moment when you say this is BEAUTY.