Arms entwined, suitably hidden from prying eyes amidst Bandra Bandstand’s sea-swept rocks, an object besides those of their affection had grabbed the attention of these amorous couples.
A heap of trash, too large to be regular flotsam was moored not far from where they sat, afloat on the rising tide.
At Bandra’s other seafront, Carter Road, joggers slowed around a set of installations that on closer inspection revealed itself to be waste.
Putting an ironic spin on the waste that Bandra callously disposes, artists will through the course of the Celebrate Bandra Festival, held in partnership with the Hindustan Times, ensure that it stares them in the face at strategic parts of the suburb.
Art is championing the festival’s ‘Go Green’ theme and motley artists have re-used and re-interpreted waste to create 15 life-sized installations. “I wanted to bring art outside of the galleries and to the public. The installations are grand in scale because the issue at hand is huge,” said Minali Thakkar, the festival’s art curator.
Bandstand’s trash island, fashioned in the image of the Great Pacific Trash Island (estimated at the size of the US), was put together by students from Vasai Vikasini College of Visual Arts, as a grim reminder of our violation of the environment. “All the thermacol and polythene used to construct the 7 ft x 10 ft island was collected from around the promenade and seafront. Over the past week, we’ve watched the island grow. We can’t fathom where so much more trash is coming from,” said Deven Bane (24).
Baroda-based artist Palak Raval has subtly woven solutions into her pop, trash art. Windmills crafted from Hindustan Times waste and stuffed gloves in vibrant colours strung on a wire like the dry fish commonly seen in Khar Danda, are among the most talked about installations. “Windmills are sources of energy and I wanted to convey that if we recycle and re-use trash, good can come of it. The gloves represent our hands, it’s us who pollute the seafront and walk past it every day but no one’s ready to raise a finger to clean up,” said Raval (28).
An 11-storeyed installation crafted from 35,000 disposed plastic bottles sourced from Bandra alone is the piece de resistance in the collective of pro-environment public art. Thakkar wanted to employ art as awareness and chose plastic, the suburb’s biggest bane to drive home the message.
“Each artist has reacted differently to the pressing issue of climate change. We’re hoping the installations serve as more than just pieces of art,” said Thakkar.