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The dollhouse effect

Baro and WOLF celebrate the spirit of play, showcasing creations of eight art houses

Diwali offerings in vintage tins by O’de’gulabee.
Diwali offerings in vintage tins by O’de’gulabee.

Mumbai-based furniture design house Baro (literally, 12 in Bengali) is collaborating with WOLF, a Jaipur-based design space that promotes arts and crafts, for an experimental show “Everyday, Play A Little", starting Sunday.

With the help of children from Akanksha Foundation, a non-profit organization for children, the teams from WOLF and Baro have converted the Lower Parel store of the design house into a dollhouse, which was built with scraps.

Eight artists and art houses, including block painter Brigitte Singh, Surat-based design house Shed and Jaipur-based jewellery house Umrao, are showcasing 12 special pieces each, which symbolize artistic creation as the culmination of playing with ideas. To further emphasize the play theme, these products, priced between Rs1,200 and Rs10 lakh, will be placed strategically and playfully.

“When you come and see the jewellery, for example, it would not be in a gift box like you get at the jewellers," says Srila Chatterjee, co-founder and curator at Baro. “We will fix the piece of jewellery in the shape of some scrumptious food on a dining table."

The motive, Chatterjee explains, is to bring people together and reclaim the idea of playing. Visitors can interact with artists, which could lead to conversations on how art is conceptualized and created.

“The idea for this show," says Ritu Singh of WOLF, “first came when WOLF created the Abandoned Dollhouse at Tapri café in Jaipur in March. People are so caught up with everything purposeful that they have forgotten how to play around with things. The dollhouse at Tapri was a temporary installation created over three months from scraps found on site and the discarded collections of WOLF."

Baro showcases a lot of WOLF products, and when Singh decided to create a similar installation outside Jaipur, “Srila was the first person we spoke with".

“As we become more digitized in an increasingly connected world, I think we are getting lost in technology," says Chatterjee. “We have forgotten how to interact with people in the physical world."

“The first thing that we learn in life is to play. It is how you built relationships and learnt a lot of things. The idea behind this initiative is to remind people of the spirit of playing."

Everyday, Play A Little is on from 1-11 October, 11am-7pm, Baro’s Sun Mill Compound store in Lower Parel, Mumbai.

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