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SHEROES
25 Nov 2014 . 5 min read

Meet the SHEROES - Minali Thakkar


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Minali Thakkar is an art curator and art ahead of Celebrate Bandra Celebrate Bandra Festival which began on November 22nd and will continue till Nov 30th. Thakkar’s forte lies in taking art away from the walls of gallery space to unconventional paradigms. An advocate of art, Minali Thakkar has touch based various social messages like Women empowerment, HIV, Environmental, Social responsibility towards civil servants, etc. She art installation- ‘bottle fall’ has bagged the Limca Book of Records and was also considered for the Guinness Book of World Records. While ‘ bottle fall’ gave out message of ‘GARB’-age, this time she would be focussing on WEB-AGE through her installation at MET which is a  huge Web light art installation- an artistic take on the current text-ology and whats-app trend. While we are connected through web, we fail to communicate in person.

Here is more about her and the art festival

 


Tell us more about yourself

Born in a conservative Gujrati family, overcoming the challenges of selecting an unconventional career led to quite some achievements in life. Support from my family ensured that I strive towards redefining the purpose of art beyond its aesthetic purpose. I have done my masters from Sir. J. J. School of Arts with specialization in Creative Painting. My practice spans a diverse set of art ranging from sculpting to painting using mixed media. I been an advocate of art as a fine art consultant and have used art as a means to connect people, as a therapy, to educate people and as an eco-warrior. I am not only a fine art collection advisor to the corporate and individuals but also educating them with art appreciation workshops to understand the collection on the walls. My forte lies in taking art away from the walls of gallery space to unconventional paradigms. As an advocate of art, I touch base on various social messages like Women empowerment, HIV, Environmental, Social responsibility towards civil servants, etc. My passion lies in creating art installations using recycled materials. 

My art installation- ‘bottle fall’ has bagged the Limca Book of Records and was also considered for the Guinness Book of World Records. I also have a gallery set in the FRRO division at the CID branch, Mumbai where the Indian Art is promoted at an International level since it’s a pre requisite for any foreign resident to visit the FRRO when in Mumbai. I am the Art Head of Celebrate Bandra, a festival which is a community cultural festival an important event on the city calendar since 2009. I have curated various artworks this year for Celebrate Bandra with the focus on functional, 3d, light and public interactive art.

What is celebrate Bandra about? What was the idea behind it?

The festival that began in 2003 was conceptualized with a view to bring people together through world-class entertainment that is free of cost and accessible to all. In the process, it showcases professional talent and provide a platform for budding talent to grow. It is a cultural festival by the people and for the people. This year the cultural festival promises to be bigger and better. Around 40 artists are coming together to present their unique art forms. Celebrate Bandra 2014 will see exciting functional, public interactive and visually appealing installations like benches, 3d street art as well as light art displayed at Carter Road, Bandstand, MET, parks and other such public locations.

How was the journey of bringing 40 artists together? Did you face any challenges?

It was indeed difficult to bring together all the artists together. Getting together an amalgamation of national artists across cities right from Jaipur, Kolkata, Nashik and North east was a tough process. I wanted an exchange of culture across borders and bring artists together for the festival. Although it was a tough process but the result was a basket full of brilliant and innovative ideas and artworks. The challenge also lay on the right to free expression by the artists which should also not hurt any sentiments. I had to also ensure that my personal views on certain topics do not overshadow any artist’s freedom of expression. With new perceptions, new thoughts the whole process was a learning experience for me too. I was marvelled with a number of really stunning pieces of artwork. Artists have worked round the clock to create art works on ground, rocks, grass, windows etc. using materials like fishing nets, rubic cubes, balloons and metalscraps to name few. Be it the huge limousine or an armour skirt and choli designed to protect the women, each art piece will mesmerise you.

Are you displaying any of your works? Tell us more about it. 

Curating all the artworks together is my work as the Art Head of Celebrate Bandra. Conceptualising the themes, the ideas, bringing the artists and weaving their artworks together for the festival is an art in itself. Last time I tried bring light to the environmental issues due to the use of plastic bottles through a 153 feet high installation at MET- ‘ the bottle fall’ which gave out message of ‘GARB’-age. This year my focus is on WEB-AGE through my installation at MET which is a  huge Web light art installation- an artistic take on the current text-ology and whats-app trend. I have tried to bring it across through a huge community board with a report card on the web happenings- status’, likes, etc. and Martin by Harman; who is a market leader in the field of automated lighting fixtures for their support. For the first time lights will be used to convey a message on how well we are disconnected despite being web connected. While we are connected through web, we fail to communicate in person.

A message to all SHEROES out there. 

Believe in yourself! Be fearless, free-spirited, and confidently chase your passion.


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SHEROES
SHEROES - lives and stories of women we are and we want to be. Connecting the dots. Moving the needle. Also world's largest community of women, based out of India. Meet us at www.sheroes.in @SHEROESIndia facebook.com/SHEROESIndia

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