Art speak: Of women empowerment and rights | art and culture | Hindustan Times
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Art speak: Of women empowerment and rights

The issue of women's rights and empowerment dominates the themes of art installations at Rampart Row at the Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, as several artistes have showcased the cause in their designs.

art and culture Updated: Feb 03, 2014 15:36 IST
Mugdha Variyar
Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival

Thousands have been thronging the art installations on display at Rampart Row during the ongoing Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, with people jostling for space and angling to get just the right photographs of themselves and their loved ones standing in front of their favourite pieces.
Some of the most popular art works have been those dealing with the issues of female infanticide, equal rights and the empowerment of women.

One such installation is titled ‘Ladka Ya Ladki’, and is made up of a female silhouette crafted in glass, with a fish bowl placed in the belly.

"The idea of the installation is to show how a pregnant woman instantly comes under scrutiny, with people wondering, will it be a boy or a girl, and often being disappointed if it is the latter," said Ankur Rajput, who created the installation with fellow artist Sachin Chashar. “The message of the installation is simple: It is important that we respect life and not bother about gender."

Another installation, by artists Shriya Nair and Savia Lopez, both 19, highlights the issue of injustice to women, with a huge, lopsided weighing scale signifying how women are weighted down by delays in dispensing justice.

Among those riveted by the art on display all along Rampart Row was Ghatkopar resident Shruti Botadra.

"I love how important social messages have been woven into the art at the festival," she said. “I loved the weighing scale installation in particular."
Rupam Chaukekar, a Malad resident who took advantage of the holiday to come to the festival with her husband and son, said her favourite was the glass woman and fish bowl.

"It is such a unique way to highlight the problem of gender discrimination," she said. “I really liked the concept."

Among the children, one of the most popular installations was the 'Bottle Mountain', one of the largest at the festival, made from discarded plastic bottles.

"It is a very nice idea to reuse plastic bottles," said Dadar resident Trisha Damniwala, 6, referring to the theme of recycling represented by the art work, which her parents had explained to her. She also seemed excited that she was able to recognise many of brands featured in the towering installation.

Also popular, with children and adults alike, were the interactive installations that created strange optical illusions as you walked through them, such as the work titled 'Capturing Reflections', an installation made up of a myriad glass panels.

Rampart Row and its art installations is the nucleus of the Kala Ghoda festival, said festival director Brinda Miller. "Most people who come to the festival first come to Rampart Row, which is one reason why we encourage social messages in the installations," she added.