Recently, a diverse array of colorful quilts have started emerging in Mumbai using the city as a massive art canvas for a community art initiative called 'The Corona Quilt' Project.
In our fight against the on-going pandemic, The Corona Quilt Project aims to spread the message of resilience and hope with the support of IIFL, The Godrej Group, JSW, Bombay Shirt Company and Bombay Municipality Community (BMC). As part of the project, art works are scattered all over the city to uplift whoever sees them. The project was inaugurated on 12th March 2021, by Mr. Aaditya Thackeray, Cabinet Minister of Maharashtra along with the presence of Parambir Singh, Commissioner of Mumbai Police and Iqbal Singh Chahal, Commissioner of BMC.
The project has collaborated with organizations such as 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.
What is The Corona Quilt Project?
The Corona Quilt Project presents a diverse array of, site-specific installations, scattered throughout the city. This global initiative aims at creatively compiling personal experiences of the pandemic from people all over the world through the designing of a 'square'. Inspired by the quilting tradition, this collective 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. This project has 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. This was coordinated through 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 part of the final presentation.
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.
Where can you see it?
The year-long public program culminates in five separate installations and was kicked off in March 2021 with “Rise” by Dia Mehhta Bhupal, a Mumbai/Hyderabad-based interdisciplinary artist. Her 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.
For the presentation at Jindal Mansion, Bhupal created 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 façade of the building with 1339 individual stories. It draws a parallel from the landscape of Mumbai with the sun rising along the coastline.
Haji Ali Pumping Station
Honouring the frontline workers, “Warriors Rise” a montage of portraits will be presented on the façade 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”, 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.
Together, these quits will cover more than 8000 square feet of space in the city. 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). Find out more about the project here.