MAGMA Vol. 1 and 2


St+art Mumbai 2014 culminated in two experiential exhibitions called ‘Magma I & II’ that were held in two distinct locations of Mumbai. While Magma Vol. 1 was hosted at St. Jude Bakery in Bandra (W), Magma Vol. 2 was held at Upadrashta House in Kala Ghoda. Akin to a traditional show, the pieces showcased in Kala Ghoda were more structural and heavy on canvases, whereas the artworks displayed at St. Jude were edgier and more experimental.

While most urban artists have a sound in-studio practice along with their public works, they are mostly recognized as one or the other. The Magma exhibitions aimed at bridging this gap and also the geography of the city by creating 2 locations for Mumbaikers to visit - one in Town and one in Bandra.

The exhibitions derived their name from an interesting parallel between the nature of street art and that of magma. A hot fluid or semi-fluid material below the earth's crust from which lava and other igneous rock is formed on cooling, magma is unstoppable, fertile, rich and explosive. ‘Magma I & II’ strove to celebrate the global phenomenon of street art, a movement that is ascribed with much the same characteristics. Urban art interventions rise from underground sources, engage with burning issues and produce something lasting.

Replete with heritage buildings, museums, art galleries and educational institutes, Kala Ghoda already had a long-standing reputation of being the hotbed of everything-art in Mumbai. To reinforce the foundation’s vision of making #artforall by taking it out of conventional gallery spaces, the second location in Bandra – a rundown bakery that had been transformed in the previous month was chosen to host Vol. 1 of the exhibition.

The exhibitions got artists who had created artworks across Bandra and Dharavi in the previous month to come together and showcase their in-studio work. Hosted at buildings of cultural significance, the exhibitions invited the public to re-imagine the utility of public spaces and the role they can play in expanding the scope of art.

The exhibitions also served as ideal settings for in-person engagement with artists whose work is otherwise left open solely to the spectators’ interpretation.

MAGMA Vol. 1

Magma Vol. 1 was hosted at St. Jude Bakery in Bandra (W). Jude bakery was once a very popular local bakery but had been defunct for a few decades. We took the site and and used it to create an experiential art exhibition.

Akacorleone at St.Jude Bakery, Bandra

Portugese artist Akacorleone works a lot with characters and typefaces and was heavily influenced by the hand-painted signages he saw across Mumbai. He painted a piece on the facade of the iconic Jude bakery in the Bandra region known, and used a reference to St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes in his piece. “Hey St. Jude please help me, I am really a lost cause!” he said.

MAGMA Vol. 2

Magma Vol. 2 was held at Upadrastha House in Kala Ghoda. Choosing two locations for the exhibitions served a two-pronged purpose. While it enabled us to put art in the vicinity of people shy of entering galleries, it also helped us put art patrons in touch with what happenings on the streets.