Press Release – The Corona Quilt Project
The Corona Quilt Project presents a diverse array of, site-specific installations, scattered throughout the city. The Corona Quilt Project was conceived during the initial weeks of the Pandemic as a way to connect people, discuss self expression and mental health, and bring communities together .
Quilting is a method of stitching layers of material together. The history of quilting can be traced back at least to medieval times. For this project, we have employed a modern take on quilting —each patch is made up of unique materials ranging from repurposed fabric and gunny bags to tablecloths and paper collages. We encouraged interactive virtual square making sessions, to be mindful of, and to adapt to the restrictions posed by lockdown. These cross border submissions, each expressing an individual’s personal journey, are being printed on upcycled fabric and will be a part of the final presentation.
The year-long public program culminated in five separate installations across Mumbai in March 2021 with “Rise” by Dia Mehhta Bhupal, a Mumbai/Hyderabad-based interdisciplinary artist. The Corona Quilt Project presents a diversity of experiences, celebrating the strength and the resilience of people. The squares explore themes of home, safety, nature, the environments in which we exist, and the pandemic, each made through unique forms of mixed media and materials. The Project draws inspiration from the vibrancy of Mumbai and seeks to delight and inspire joy with those who experience it.
“This movement has connected people of different ages from different cities and countries – echoing the belief that we have all endured this crisis together, no matter our age, gender, occupation or nationality. The presentations are meant to help us move forward, heal and be reborn. The location on the Worli-Peddar road junction is especially exciting. The locations connect high-traffic areas in Mumbai allowing us to bring this to the public and make this presentation highly visible.” – Neha Modi, Co-Founder of the project.
Bhupal’s presentation incorporates a transformative, uplifting journey symbolically coming together in natural elements such as the sun, the ocean, butterflies, along with portraits of the frontline workforce who have led the fight against the pandemic. The artist’s intention is to present the full range of depth, diversity and ingenuity of the squares collected. For the presentation at Jindal Mansion, Bhupal is creating a modern quilt entitled “A Rising Sun”. It is always darkest before dawn but, everyday, a new sunrise gives us the opportunity to hope, to dream, and to imagine a better tomorrow. A Rising Sun wraps around the facade of the building with 1339 individual stories. It draws a parallel from the landscape of Mumbai with the sun rising along the coastline.
Honouring the frontline workers, “Warriors Rise” a montage of portraits will be presented on the facade of the Haji Ali Pumping Station. The focus is a pumping heart, a symbol of all the workers have done to keep us safe and healthy. It features individual portraits of doctors, nurses, the police force and members of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), who have been our core strength and support during the pandemic. “On the Rise”, the presentation on Worli Seaface, wraps around the facade of the building with over 5000 individual narratives coming together. It draws a parallel from the butterfly- a symbol of transformation, evolution and resurrection. This has been a time of monumental and purposeful metamorphosis, that has given birth to new perspectives and visions.
“Live to Rise”, will be wrapped around 23 BEST buses on routes from Worli to Colaba. Each bus has 1200 narratives coming together with the messaging Live, Laugh, Love, Hope, Heal and Dream. The presentation provides an intersection between past, present and future, between disciplines, and between ideas. “My presentations have been inspired by children’s drawings and their inner innocence. Rise draws continuities and solidarities between human and nature, artificial and natural, then and now. The concepts chosen embody our current reality and consequences of the pandemic. It is truly humbling to have the opportunity to work on the individual stories that connect and collectively empower the community “- DIA MEHHTA BHUPAL
THE CORONA QUILT PROJECT started in June 2020. The project has received over 12,000 squares from corporates, schools, NGO’s, foundations, individuals and others.
Corona Quilt Project- is made possible with the generous support of Title Sponsors IIFL, The Godrej Group, JSW, Bombay Shirt Company, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Participants Wipro, RPG Art Foundation,Teach for India, FICCI, Pride India, Dream Girls Foundation, Birla Open Minds, Cathedral School, Gateway School, Parikrma, Karo, SRCC and many more. Additionally, celebrities such as Shreyas Iyer, Sania Mirza, Ram Charan, Mahesh Babu, Rana Daggubati, Samantha Prabhu, Twinkle Khanna, Rakul Preet Singh & Neetu Kapoor have shared their stories.
The Corona Quilt Project team consists of Neha Modi – India Founder, Dia Mehhta Bhupal – Creative Director, Pri Shewakramani – Community Engagement Director and Samyukta Ranganathan – Outreach Coordinator.
DIA MEHHTA BHUPAL
DIA MEHHTA BHUPAL (Creative Director) is one of India’s most eminent and distinctive young artists. Bhupal’s work is unique; subtly combining the social message of Sustainability (extensively using only recycled materials) with meticulously photographed ‘constructed images’. Bhupal graduated with a BFA in Photography from The Parsons School of Design in New York after completing her foundation studies at the Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, London. While studying at both Parsons and St. Martins, Bhupal pioneered a technique with an emphasis on redefining everyday real-life images as commonly interpreted by observers. Bhupal is represented by Gallery SKE and is an INK Fellow. She has exhibited across the world,with solo and group shows, including Biennales at Kochi in India, Lyon in France ,Yinchuan in China, Art Basel to name a few.
Bhupal has been a speaker at several Art forums and conferences world over. She combines her passion for art and community and is associated with several philanthropic causes including education.
Neha Modi is the co-founder of the Corona Quilt Project. She is also the co-founder of a conscious clothing brand based in India called Pause. Pause launched a little over 3 years ago and has carved out a niche in the sustainable clothing category. With over 10 years of experience in the textile industry in Los Angeles & Mumbai, Neha believes in & supports the eco-conscious textile movement taking place across the world. Prior to Pause, she was running a manufacturing company based in Mumbai. Her other work experience includes a stint at BCBG in Los Angeles and Ginny Hilfiger in New York after she graduated from Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.