Happy Healthy Me
Bangalore, August 2016
This was an installation made on the main store front of a new organic grocery store in Bangalore. The brief was to create an installation that celebrated the environmentally conscious spirit of the store, whilst simultaneously inviting people to participate with it, drawing them in. Hence, I used over 300 recycled plastic bottles, and upcycled them to create a plastic garden shaped like wings, for people to pose in front of. I hoped people would initially be drawn towards the installation because of its aesthetic quality, and then be engaged deeper when they realized the materials it was made with.
I woke up with a desire to go foraging for plastic flowers in a concrete jungle. I imagined I’d be hunting quite a while, because I required quite a few, but as soon as I starting looking, I found them falling into my open hands, raining from skyscraper windows.
The more I found, the more there were to discover: the overgrown plastic city was sending bouquets of bottles my way, even as I tripped upon rows and rows growing outside my own bedroom door.
Overwhelmed by the excess, I hurriedly gathered these flowers to plant a garden, and slowly, the plastic waste started changing, as the garden breathed new life into what was once considered the residue from a throwaway society.
My initial alarm from the overwhelming mass of plastic was replaced by enchantment, as a world of new possibilities opened up. My imagination started to fly with new ideas to recycle and uplift and my spirits soared as I discover that by repurposing and reimagining, we could replant meaning into the Coca Cola detritus.
When objects’ intended uses are finished, they don’t have to be lost and their bodies don’t have to be wasted. They’re waiting for open hands to mold meaning back into their shapes, to forge purpose from ideas and imagination. We have all thrown much away, but nothing is ever thrown far, nothing is ever finished, it is just a new turn of the cycle.