Saturday, November 22, 2014

saving the environment

So, who will save the environment? Who should? Me, We, all of us together, and also on our own. Not just big strides, but baby steps as well.

And then what can we do? .... just do your bit!

And as the 'Daily Dump' says, believe that ... " it is not going to change the world - but can make a difference, that we are stewards of this earth, that design is a powerful tool that allows you to imagineer a system that can be organic and enabling." Of course, all this with reference to the work that the organisation is doing in the area of waste management!

Founded by Poonam Bir Kasturi, an industrial designer by training and founder faculty of the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore, Daily dump is  about creating a new perception of 'waste' and enabling dignified action.

Design can, and should contribute to making the world a better place! The initiatives taken by the organisation reflect a deep understanding of the core issues, a belief that we can reach the solutions through design, through participation at individual level and that it is not just the mammoth projects that cause a sea change, but also the small steps that go a long way.

It is also looking at 'craft' in a new way ... not as an old, non utilitarian way of doing things irrelevant in today's world of technological solutions, but as something rooted in our tradition, bound by its cultural context, and capable of teaching the citizens of the 21st century a thing or two about life and living.


Friday, November 21, 2014

borrowed time

We are all living on borrowed time! The whole world... we have so many time bombs ticking away as we read this, climate, deforestation, nuclear warfare....

In this multimedia artwork, actually a time-lapse video, created by Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto, we get a literal birds eye view of all the nuclear explosions that have been carried out between 1945 and 1998. 

The artist brings out, without the use of words, the scary reality involved... and leaves us to think what best we can do 'on borrowed time'!

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Dusk is a very odd hour ... everything and every place and everyone starts taking on different hues when it is neither day nor night!

 San Giorgio Maggiore by Twilight - oil on canvas , impressionist painting by Claude Monet

The painting is a part of a series of views of Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, painted by Claude Monet in the early 20th century. The church, its bell tower, the other buildings on the right, all seem to emerge from a blurred veil of colour, there ...  but not there, at the same time.

This was very typical if the 'Impressionist' style of painting, of which Monet was the founder, and one of its most prolific practitioners who followed the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perception of nature, rather than copying it in detail.

This style was quite a contrast to the existing Classical styles at that time, and created a revolution in the world of Art. There was a change not only in the technique, but also the themes represented. Painting 'Nature' and that too in this manner, was something that had never been accepted before. Paintings were done outdoors, rather than in the studio, and rapidly applied brushstrokes were visible in the final work.

The Impressionists sought to capture on canvas what the eye perceived ... the effects of light, the changes in time and weather, the brilliance of pure, intense colours .... leading to a seemingly 'incomplete' or 'unfinished' work of art.

'For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life - the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value." ... Claude Monet


Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Giuseppe Arcimboldo was an Italian painter best known for creating ingenious portraits made completely out of objects such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and books. From a far, his portraits look like normal human portraits. However on close examination it can clearly be seen how individual objects are actually overlapped together to make various anatomical shapes of a human. They are carefully constructed entirely by his imagination. The method is such that there is no randomness in picking objects. Objects are methodically classified and used as per the subject of the painting. In the portrait called the The Librarian, he has used objects that signified the book culture at that time or in the painting Water sea creatures are used. By using everyday objects he managed to merge the portraits with still-life paintings. His works showed the close association and resemblance of human beings and nature.

Credits: information and photos

Monday, November 17, 2014


The world changes when one starts wearing glasses! It is almost like seeing a new world born out of the existing world.


The psychedelic 'kaleidoscope glasses' designed by New York based artist Pamela Tietze have lenses made out of crystal glass prisms used in chandeliers. The very unconventional eyewear ( a fusion of art and fashion) gives the wearer an experience of visual chaos and kaleidoscopic fantasy that is born out of reality.

“The outer prismatic finish directly addresses the fact that when wearing the piece, the viewer himself or herself is being viewed, taking Olafur Eliasson’s ‘Seeing Yourself Seeing’ a step further to ‘Seeing Someone Seeing You Seeing’ and so on,” Tietze wrote. 

“In the end, I hope they evoke the feeling of being a tourist in your own reality.” 

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Quilt making is a craft close to the Indian heart. For ages, women in India have been making warm quilts out of pieces of recycled cloth. Old sarees, other clothes, once worn till they possibly can be, are cut to small pieces, mainly squares or strips, and are sewn together to create a warm quilt, which not only retains the physical memories of the clothes used, but also a whole lot of memories associated with them. Every Indian child has at some point of time slept snugly in a 'godhadi' created out of his grandmother's old 'nau-wari' or nine yard saree, and felt the warmth of his grandma's embrace retained in the quilt.

Apart from being a great way to use resources to their maximum, recycle and reuse, as the modern 'green' concept goes, godhadis have an aesthetic value that is unique. The colours, textures, patterns, stitches and most of all, the randomness of the material put together all make godhadis a craft worth preserving and promoting!