The Garden of Five Senses

At the  Sanjay Gandhi National Park we were excited as one can be because we were told we were going to be cycling. We were riding to the Kanheri caves and were absorbing the greenery as not much is seen in the city. The cycle ride definitely made us all closer and broke the ice even further, as even though Archana was our 3rd artist we were all still getting used to each others company.

 Image

We crossed streams that made us want to jump in them and have a good swim. We heard tribal music that made us realize how important it is to save dying tribes and what culture would be lost if tribes die out. And just as every outing has some action ours was quite unfortunate when Rhea fell off her bike. It was sad but Tanya and I couldn’t help laughing at the way we ran to Rhea when this happened. It was a very filmy scene as we dropped our bikes and ran in slow motion towards Rhea to rescue her and to avail her injuries. It was even greater when she showed us what a sport she is by shaking it off and continuing the bike ride. We were enjoying, racing in short stretches and figuring out things as we cycled on.

 Image

On reaching the Kanheri caves, we were taken aback by the beauty of the place and looked around at the monkeys who searched the small crowd for any sign of food. We then sat in a cave and discussed what we saw along the journey and shared the importance of our senses and using them well. What I learnt from the conversation was that one usually doesn’t realize how important our senses are. They must be used and the beauty around us observed. Taking sight as an example of a sense, we often use our eyes to look but we don’t actually see. One must not only keep their eyes open but also their mind open to see.

 Image

Exploring the caves while using our senses changed my vision because I now saw things with my mind. It made me notice more things like the sculptures and made me wonder about the times when they were made. I found more beauty because my mind didn’t decide what it was seeing but actually allowed me to show it, how there was more to everything.

 Image

Once our visit was over, the story we wrote had to involve the Kanheri caves. So, Simran and I, wrote a story about a treasure and one man and his nephew coming to the Kanheri caves to find it. They encounter a sea monster and escape it’s clutches with the help of the giant Buddha statue coming to life. It was a joy to write the story as we added our own twists and had fun writing it. We then changed the story into a storyboard format and took turns in drawing out our image of the scene. It was interesting to do so as we used what I had seen and wove a story around that setting.

IMG_4684

The mentorship program is a delight as it’s changing the way we look at things. It teaches me how there’s always more than what meets the eye and we must make use of our senses and not take them for granted. Magic is in the utilization of the entire spectrum of the senses- it empowers us, expands our vision.

Image

Rheea Razdan, 14years, Oberoi International School, Mumbai

The Magic of You

Everyone is special and one-of-a-kind. We are God’s children and we are unique. And that’s exactly what I came to share with children at Education and Training Center for children with hearing impairment and intellectual disability.

Image

I decided to have a session on the magic of being you. Each student was given a mirror to look into- they could stare into it, make faces, smile, talk, squint- do whatever that expressed their thoughts best. I was a little apprehensive earlier because the word ‘portrait’ always evokes realism and I didn’t want the children to lose their spontaneity. But I was pleasantly surprised that the mundane doesn’t bother them and that they respond to things very truthfully and with innocence. They don’t control their emotions instead they just say what they like or dislike.

Image

After my short demonstration, where I spoke to them about my crooked nose and twirled up moustache, and my feelings not only did the room echo with their laughter but I was greeted with warm hugs.

 

Everyone took to work seriously. After an intense session of observing and practicing their expressions, which was self motivated, they were ready to translate their magic on imperial sheet. They were confident and not dependent on me and very rarely did they ask for help. Some kids were so busy with their mirror and making faces that they didn’t really want to paint but observe themselves. I felt these kids were more sensitive and had the ability to delve deeper. They also explored their work from all sides instead of sticking to the traditional format.

 Image

I also observed that some kids were not interested in making their portrait but just painting various colors. They were trying to feel the brush, the strokes and explore color.

The children realised that there could be several things that make them what they are: the clothes they wear, the way they look, things that make them laugh or cry, things they love, things they dislike…

 Image

In my experience of working with children, I found the children at ETC uninhibited for they asked questions for clarity, confident in their expression and less conscious to explore new boundaries.

 Image

Kundan Shanbagh

Artist @Art1st

 

 

Art Lab on the move!

IMG_5049

Haaste Haaste Kat Jaye Raste

Badmash Company

Haathi mera Saathi

Mauj, Masti

Ulta Pulta

Wakadee

Yoodlidoo

Aazad Panchi

Kancha Party

Thoughts kept rolling and we found it difficult to contain it. If you haven’t guessed it till now then let us tell you our plan.

Imagine the look on the faces of children- in remote areas around Mumbai (as of now), the slums, underprivileged children, pediatric division at the cancer hospital, orphanages- if we arrive with our colourful carnival for everyone to enjoy!

A total time pass for everyone, artists and children alike. A day to let go and immerse in the colours of life. A day to forget all your worries and enjoy the joy of childhood. A day to remember that life is beautiful.

The goal is simple. Reach out to as many kids in areas where they have little access to such simple pleasures of diving into their world of imagination and give them creative freedom, resources and support to follow their ideas and interests.

Welcome to our world of TIMEPASS! Watch this space for more…