NOTES : AYESHA KAPADIA
Notes is our latest series on exploring the dynamics of creativity over an informal break. We chatted with some of the most eminent as well as some of the upcoming artists in India today. We caught up with art director Ayesha Kapadia of Komet Juice for a quick behind-the-scenes.
Tell us a little about your journey.
I have been drawing and making things for as long as I can remember. Art and making things is second nature to me. It’s the only thing I’ve known how to do. It’s the only way I know how to be. Throughout my childhood, I hated school. It was traumatic. And the only thing that made it tolerable was art, dramatics/theatre and science projects. Then Art School happened and I was introduced to the world of Typography and Bauhaus and Andy Warhol and it all just felt like home.
Right after graduating I worked as an Art Director at an advertising agency but it wasn’t for me. So I quit and did an Art Residency at Space118 where I explored and discovered what I was capable of creating. Then I went on to working with two social enterprises that stand for craft and women empowerment – Chindi and Okhai, as a Designer. I had also started getting commissioned for illustration jobs. Somewhere in the middle of all of this I found myself married to Instagram. It’s a beautifully simple medium committed to visuals and I began using it as a medium of expression started making short films as a medium of self-expression and preservation of memories. I was committed to ticking things off a list I had made as a little girl, to make and do things I had always wanted to do. I’m still ticking things off that list.
Ayesha for Chindi
You work with different mediums to create interesting narratives. How do you go about selecting the direction of any given project?
Each project comes with its own personality and the challenge is to be able to empathise and translate that personality with the understanding of visual aesthetics that I come with.
You’ve been collaborating with musicians since a while now, whether its visual language or art direction. What’s your thought process while transferring one form of creativity to another?
To be able to translate the energies of sound into a visual format is all about expression for me. It’s not much of a thought process and has more to do with being a sponge. What I mean by that, and what I thoroughly enjoy about the process, is absorbing all the emotions that come with the sound and vomit it out as art or graphic design or even a film. For the artwork I designed for Nicholson’s first EP, Sorabh and Rohan were nice enough to let me sit in the studio with them during the making of the EP, absorbing sounds and then translating it into art.
Art Direction for Parekh & Singh’s I Love You Baby, I Love You Doll
What does your moodboard look like?
Definitely has pictures of Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick / Glitter / A variety of different textiles: I love cloth! / Glitter / Fashion / Glitter / Polaroids / Images of the Galaxy / Architecture / Glitter
Birth of Venus 316 by Andy Warhol. Source.
You’ve created these lovely Bombay Noir videos for us. Please share your thoughts, inspirations and ideas that led to the short films.
Oddly enough, I make memories through fragrances/smells. I remember events and people and faces and things through smells. Fragrances have always been a huge trigger for certain memories for me. And so when I was commissioned to making these films, I found it very interesting to put this oddity to use. Each fragrance from your wonderful collection triggered a certain kind of feeling and I tried to express those feelings through the medium of moving images.
What are your favourite places in Bombay?
Well, all the classic British architecture, the beauty that is the building structure of the Bombay Arts Society, Matterden Cinema, the High Court at night with the hallway lights on, inside a rickshaw with a quirky colour palette on the seats and hood, my pani-puri wallah, any and all terraces, there are so many more.
The Bombay Art Society. Source.
But most of all, my most favourite place in Bombay is my nani’s house. I’ve spent most of my formative years in that 100 year old building with the red clay hexagon tiled flooring and washed out teal walls that hold hand painted portraits of my great grandmother and great grandfather. I’ve stared at their faces for hours and hours wondering what they might have been thinking while they got their portraits painted. Because unlike a photograph, a painted portrait gets made over days through various emotions. And I couldn’t help but wonder about the bits of their thoughts or emotions that have been frozen in time. The delicate crystal chandelier was always an object of mystery that partook in all my imaginary games that I played in that house. It’s almost like I befriended these objects and over the years they have seen me grow and have been part of the journey. My silent confederates. They know all my secrets. They have seen all my awkward times and still stand by me now. You know how as human beings we tend to form relationships with objects? And also because of the kind of people that make that house a home.
Top Instagram accounts to follow.
What’s on your playlist?
Mo Kenney – Telephones
Parekh & Singh
I’m in love – Noonie Bao
Cold Water – Nicholson
Lykke Li – Until We Bleed
Penguin Cafe Orchestra – Perpetuum Mobile
Horse Powar – Queen
Gold Panda – You