Manish Arora’s Stunning New Installation Is An Ode To Love & Textiles

Manish Arora’s Stunning New Installation Is An Ode To Love & Textiles
Akshat Nauriyal

St+Art India’s installations for the Mumbai 2017 urban art festival have taken the city by a storm of vivid colours and powerful ideas. Their installations such as ‘Plastic Ocean’ at Sassoon Dock have left visitors awed and shocked in equal measure at the stark representation of the problem of increasing plastic pollution in our oceans. Another captivating installation that has popped up in the city of dreams has been masterminded by none other than fashion designer and stylist Manish Arora in collaboration with St+Art. Arora’s signature style, marked by bold colours that blend gracefully, shines through in the large-scale installation at Jindal House, as it does in everything the designer touches – clothes, linen, crockery, and even automobiles.

The iconic and stately Jindal Mansion fringing Peddar Road is hard to miss, with its imposing architecture and Greek-style columns on the upper floors. Arora’s concept of a curtain of larger-than-life sequins against the building’s pristine white façade, now draws the attention of every passerby. Waves of colours streaming through long ropes create the installation’s central element – a giant heart. The theme of Arora’s work of art is “All We Need Is Love’ - a giant yet gentle reminder telling us to spread love. “I want people to stop and ponder when they look at the installation and for that one minute, feel pure unadulterated love,” Arora told Vogue India, adding that “In today’s social and political environment, it’s so important to remember that its love that makes us human and connects us all.”

While conceptualising this installation, Arora was focussed on retaining the spirit of Indian materials through its length and breadth. “I use mostly Indian fabrics anyway. It wasn’t essential to do, but it was a natural choice for me,” he told The Hindu. In effect, over 2,400 circular hoops made from a variety of fabrics - Banarasi brocades, sequinned textiles, digital prints, and chain-stitched fabrics - sourced from different parts of the country were used. To make the installation a spectacular reality, 35 artisans worked on the creation for three months before it was finally ready to be unveiled.

Arora’s installation brings back fond memories of UK-based artist Filthy Luker’s installation at Jindal Mansion. Enormous green tentacles crept out of the windows of this iconic Mumbai house as the brainchild of the artist who is notorious for creating inflatable urban street art. These art projects certainly reassure us that expression through art holds an eternal spot in Mumbai’s diverse culture fabric.

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