Cu­rat­ing out­door spa­ces us­ing per­son­al­i­ties

Mon­ica Jain takes us through the jour­ney of cu­rat­ing out­door space in your homes

The Ideal Home and Garden - - Contents - IM­PRES­SION: MON­ICA JAIN

I must ad­mit at the very out­set that I’m a very visual per­son. Be­ing pre­dom­i­nantly right-brained, when I look at a space, I con­jure up im­ages of how to trans­form it. It hap­pens au­to­mat­i­cally; I lit­er­ally can­not help it. The im­age ap­pears as a di­aphanous screen be­fore my eyes and from the vir­tual to the real, it is a pretty ex­cit­ing jour­ney.

Talk­ing of gar­dens, look into any Dil­li­wale ka home, you will most def­i­nitely find a green patch - an out­door space, which could be a beau­ti­ful ter­race gar­den, or acres of greens in a typ­i­cal Delhi farm­house. Delhi isn’t just a city of pub­lic gar­dens, its a city where ev­ery res­i­dent cre­ates his own pri­vate one. A nat­u­ral con­se­quence of a love for gar­dens is a beau­ti­fi­ca­tion that goes be­yond flow­ers and fo­liage. Art is the new way to cre­ate stun­ning out­door spa­ces.

Lay­out

It de­pends on your phi­los­o­phy, what you be­lieve in and then find­ing a way to give it an ex­pres­sion. An out­door space is as much a re­flec­tion of your per­son­al­ity; So, if you are se­cre­tive and like to re­veal slowly, or are just who is look­ing for a quiet, then styling out­doors is a great way to achieve it.

The Grand En­trance

The key to mak­ing that first great im­pres­sion is of course, une en­trée grande. Duh. Let’s start with some­thing more sub­tle and beau­ti­ful that is a har­bin­ger of things to come. A pair of very el­e­gant, white mar­ble col­umns I sourced re­cently from a French villa down south. Stylis­ti­cally, the cap­i­tal atop the base and pil­lar is Corinthian. The way the bright, yel­low sun­light dances upon them height­en­ing their grace and beauty is sheer joy to be­hold!

I’m con­stantly asked how I have the en­ergy to keep do­ing this! My an­swer though, is al­ways the same - why should the out­doors be per­ma­nent when our moods aren’t?” - Mon­ica

The Path­way

There is so much one can do to a gar­den that get­ting to the cen­tre­piece will still take time. If you’re driv­ing or walk­ing in, a cob­bled, cir­cu­lar drop off with a sculp­ture in­stalled asym­met­ri­cally makes for a very in­ter­est­ing piece. Fea­tured here, is a black gran­ite sculp­ture by a young In­dian artist, Bhola Kumar. It sym­bol­ises the wheel of dhamma, the Bud­dhist phi­los­o­phy of set­ting the wheel of law in mo­tion, lit­er­ally a path­way to ul­ti­mate knowl­edge. So apt, n’est pas?

Points of In­ter­est

Se­crets that re­veal them­selves down wind­ing paths and amidst the fo­liage help cre­ate con­ver­sa­tions within na­ture. I was talk­ing about a sculp­ture around that theme, but live art is also a pos­si­bil­ity! I re­cently dis­cov­ered the tem­po­ral works of a very young artist Man­isha Chan­del. Made of dried peepal leaves, she shapes them into por­trait busts and very sen­si­tive com­po­si­tions of perched and peck­ing birds! Enamelled flow­ers in metal by the se­nior enam­elist Veenu Shah come alive beau­ti­fully along path­ways. Ter­ra­cotta fired to the strength of stoneware within a nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment. I find the works of Adil Writer ex­cep­tion­ally beau­ti­ful and so apt for these spa­ces. He has been work­ing for some two decades now and what comes out of his stu­dio is truly re­mark­able.

The Cen­tre­piece

So, what will you give the pride of place? Shall we call this a co­nun­drum? For now my favourite work of art is the Ni­rakara Bud­dha by the se­nior artist Bhag­wan Ram­pure. His work epit­o­mises his artis­tic vi­sion and mas­tery over the sculpted form. The hol­low space of the Ni­rakara or ‘form­less’ work sym­bol­ises the dis­so­lu­tion of the phys­i­cal form or ‘akara’.

The Screen

Move over metal screens (been done ad in­fini­tum! ) as art is there to save us! This time a very tal­ented artist, Rahul Mo­dak cre­ated a cur­tain of ter­ra­cotta leaves for my space. It demon­strates the one­ness of the hu­man psy­che with that of the uni­ver­sal mind of the cos­mos, which is in­ter­re­lated with the bond­ing called ‘love’. It looks so del­i­cate; each ter­ra­cotta hand-moulded leaf is ac­tu­ally as thin as a real one, but the work has been in­stalled out­doors for months brav­ing the ex­treme weather of Delhi.

The Quin­tes­sen­tial Water­body

Through ages, across trends and de­signs we’ve loved it, but its such a night­mare to main­tain with the dust, rains and shed­ding

The High-Light

They say, its not day­light, but night that re­veals true per­son­al­ity. So true of the out­door spa­ces of your home! The real test and the high point of any out­door space is how its lit up, and above all, what is lit up. Dwitiya, the light cube by De­sign Ma­trix fea­tured here is com­posed of mir­rored acrylic and metal, which has been spe­cially sourced from USA. Science, light­ing and art come to­gether seam­lessly to cre­ate pure magic. What you see when you look into it is like see­ing a multi-di­men­sional world, and is in­tended as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the du­al­ity of our ex­is­tence. In­spired by the mod­ern aes­thetic of an­cient arte­facts or ul­tra­mod­ern de­sign el­e­ments, step out to cre­ate some­thing new ones again! And enough said. All of this month, be­fore I dis­ap­pear for my sum­mer hol­i­days, drop in for a cof­fee or wine for a per­sonal walk­through of the out­door art space to see these works for your­self. Au Revoir.

leaves. Look at Lo­tus Su­tra by Di­nesh Singh made of cop­per, steel and bronze. The metal re­flects the sky above, but at that level it re­sem­bles wa­ter from which these wa­ter lilies seem to emerge. His works are painstak­ingly cre­ated with thin, hand-moulded and fired strips of metal that are welded to­gether and each hand cast wa­ter lily is then in­di­vid­u­ally welded for the fi­nal sculp­ture.

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