Varsha Menon, the principal architect and designer of VM Design Works, who curates the show, tells DT Next. “Collaborative shows like this have happened in various parts of the world. But this concept is new to Chennai. I thought it will be nice to put together the works of artists and designers. My mother Thejomaye Menon is an artist and I have grown up around art my entire life. Art has been a big influence in my life and career. Talking Spaces is an effort to exercise expertise across the fields of art and design, and harness the mixed skillsets and the potential for innovation,” says Varsha Menon.
After the lockdown, many artists and designers were waiting to showcase their work and Varsha believes that the upcoming art show will be a great platform. “In this show, senior contemporary artists have been paired up with young designers. There are many talented young interior designers and architects in the city and I wanted to showcase their work on a bigger platform. Designers were asked to create pieces that are inspired by the works of the artists with whom they are paired up,” she adds.
Through the show, Varsha also hopes to bring awareness to visual arts, applied arts and showcase how different fields can work together. “It is a design initiative for Chennaiites to come, explore and experience art and design. Through the show, both the disciplines will get more visibility in the city’s contemporary culture,” Varsha says.
Left: Design piece by Studio Reve; (right) sculpture of ‘ancient duo’ in welded copper brass and enamel by Hemalatha
Amita Joy and Hariti Shah of Studio Reve are paired up with artist and sculptor Hemalatha Senathipathi for the show. “We were asked to design something that’s inspired by Hemalatha’s works. We have made a two-seater bench and two side tables that are inspired by the colours, textures and patterns used by Hemalatha in her work,” shares Amita.
Hemalatha, who will be presenting six of her sculptures, tells us that the innovative show will be new to Chennaiites. She says, “I will be showcasing six sculptures — ancient duo, untitled, Hanuman, a 3-D sculpture of a bull, fish series and harmony. I was surprised to see how Amita and Hariti created beautiful design pieces inspired by my work,” The design show will be held at Forum Art Gallery on February 26 and 27.