Petpuja @ Futuresonic 09

fsDocumentation (panels, video, audio) of the Petpuja and Canopy projects is up at the CUBE gallery as a part of Futuresonic, a festival of music, art and ideas held in Manchester, UK from the 13th to the 23rd May, 09.

“Futuresonic is an annual festival of art, music and ideas. It involves a freeform mix of live events, exhibitions, workshops and talks in up to 30 different venues and spaces across Manchester UK”

So, if you are in that part of the world, you may be able to catch the exhibition besides all the exciting projects and events they have across this week.

One of the panels which is there at the show is below, more pictures and more of the documentation at the show will appear here shortly.


Canopy @ Make Them Love You

A sign board promoting the CANOPY project is a part of Make Then Love You in Chennai. This is what my sign might look like. Might because the signs are going to be hand-painted by a film-poster painter and the “loss in translation” is a part of the process.


Make Them Love You (MTLY) is a series of hand-painted signs exhibited throughout the city of Chennai that explore the negotiation between interior desires and exterior space.  MTLY uses the sign clusters as an exhibition space to display the artwork of ten participants who were asked to design a sign advertising a personal interior/exterior dialectic exploring notions of celebrity, sacrifice, development, and narcissism.

MTLY is presented by Casa Blanca 2 which is an art gallery based in the city of Chennai, India. We have no physical space of our own, but rather we borrow public space for exhibitions. This effort is to raise a dialogue about access and agency to view and make art, while charging the ordinary proximity between people and place.

For more details contact SHANNON SPANHAKE & PIERRE CONTI at

My sign says, “Food is Now Within Your Reach, Do Not Beg, Borrow or Work for Food…” It seeks to promote neighbourhood urban farming through the CANOPY project and other variations.

Other artists and organizations participating in MTLY are Sarath Babu (Chennai), The Banyan (Chennai), Roxanne Borujerdi (Paris), Casa Blanca 2 AKA Teddy Cruz (Chennai), Roberto Freddi & Jason Moore (London), Jessica Wallack (Chennai), Postmasters Gallery (New York), Revathy (Chennai), S.A.V Elanchezian (Chennai).

The opening is at Art World Gallery 12,Ganeshpuram 3rd Street, (Off Cenotaph Rd.) Teynampet, Chennai. PH: 044 2431 5371 on Saturday,16 May, 2009, 6:30-9:30pm.

Some pictures of my sign being painted at the street-sign-filled streets of Chennai:

CANOPY@JamaMasjid: some pictures

Some pictures of CANOPY at Jama Masjid. At Jama Masjid, we had daily workshops for children from 12 noon to 2:00 p.m. The workshop was led by Azam and Sonu from Jamghat.

The first day of the workshop was introduction to vegetables and growing them and taking care of them, the second day we had a drawing workshop, the third day it was singing with the Manzil band and the fourth day was soap bubble blowing.

Only a few pictures are archived here, will post more about conversations and interactions at this CANOPY soon. Will also add more pictures later.

CANOPY@ChandniChowk: some pictures

CANOPY is installed at Chandni Chowk and Jama Masjid as part of 48C, a public art festival in Delhi.

The plants growing in the baskets are: tomato, eggplant, cabbage, chillies, lemon grass, adulsa and tulsi.

I will be posting some conversations/stories which happened around the installation sites. For now some pictures (I’ll add descriptions for the images later):


pictures of the installation at JAMA MASJID: next mail

the second prototype for CANOPY@ChandniChowk

Across the last few days I made a second prototype of the CANOPY@ChandniChowk with the help of Ajay Mayekar, Dhaval Shellugar and Rutwik Sath, who are architects from Kamala Raheja Vidyanidhi, the school of architecture in Mumbai.

Vaibhav Kaley, Vir Singh and Gaurav gave very valuable inputs for the design of the second prototype.

How it differs from the first prototype:
1) It is self-supporting structure and doesn’t need to be grouted in the ground (i.e. you don’t need to dig the earth)
2) it uses bolts for all the major structural joints and not ropes and so is muh more stable and sturdy
3) It is much more lighter and cost-effective/cheaper
4) It can take the load of at least two-three children who climb the first level to water the plants hanging from the second level

Some photographs of the new structure:

The initial drawing drafted by Ajay and Ritwik after our first discussion:

An invitation to share your plants

If you live in New Delhi and have a kitchen garden, vegetable patch, or just happen to grow a few vegetables on your own, this is an invitation to you to share some of your plants.

As part of the CANOPY, a PetPuja installation at Chandni Chowk in December, a range of vegetable plants will be available to street children living around Jama Masjid and Chandni Chowk. I am inviting Dilliwallas to share their plants for this.

The plants you share will be transplanted in some of the baskets hanging at the top of the CANOPY. In other baskets the children will sow seeds during workshops (similar to the one I had organized at Jamghat) that I will do with them.

Manjushree has blogged a very eloquent invitation to share here.

If you want to share your vegetable or medicinal plants, you can comment here, send me an email at me AT or call me at (91)9902591198. My address in Delhi is B-7/1A Vasant Vihar. I or some of my friends or one of the kids can also drop in at your place to pick up the plants that you want to share.

I need them by the 1st week of December.

Some plants that you could share are:

Spinach, Tomato, Peas, French, Beans, Brinjal, Chilli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Mint Peppermint, Tulsi, ADHATODA ZEYLANICA (ADULSA), Aloe Vera, etc.

See your plants soon!

the first prototype for CANOPY@ChandniChowk

Last week, before leaving for Delhi, I made and tested a prototype of the first canopy in Bangalore. I designed this with Kiran Kakde’s help. Kiran is Rashmi Kakde’s brother who lives and works in Dubai.

It was made by Nizamuddin and his colleagues from Bamboo Bazar in Bangalore.

A labeled picture of the prototype.

This canopy will:

  1. offer a few tea shops shade and cover from rain
  2. offer street children in the vicinity space to grow vegetables and mushrooms
  3. offer incentives to the tea-shop owner to be friendly with the children and encourage them to use the space
  4. (maybe) have a LIVE solar mobile charging station
  5. (maybe) have a fog collection utility for local water production

This design/prototype has already been evolving into something else with feedback from a lot of children and friends.

Next post: drawings and brainstorm transcripts for the next prototype.

More picures:

CANOPY: temporary roofs for tea-shops

an introductory graphic for the project
an introductory graphic for the project

Often it is just a question of putting one up.
But after it is stretched a claim is made.
And accepted.
A claim to shade. A livelihood. Space on the street. Protection from rain.

And then in some months, it will get torn. And replaced. Or patched.
CANOPY scripts some stories in between

CANOPY is a series of temporary (flexible, mobile, sturdy), multi-purpose roofs for shops on Indian streets.

The first set of canopies are for tea-shops in Chandni-Chowk (New Delhi) and will attempt to have these features:

  1. water collection (rain, dew, fog)
  2. space for growing vegetables
  3. space for sleeping
  4. LIVE solar mobile charging
  5. storage
  6. marking (creating an identity for the tea-shop through art on the canopy)

Some drawings and sketches will be posted soon.