It is no secret that we have long been enchanted by the legend of the archetypal waterman – who, as Rahul Malaney concisely sums up, ‘a human being that feels completely comfortable in the ocean no matter what the conditions are like’.
Unmistakably one amongst these elemental beings who avidly responds to the call of the ocean himself, he was joined by Jill Ferguson, who subscribes to a similar lifestyle that transgresses the generation’s consumerist trappings to respect the mighty and selfless ocean – and the environment – for the phenomenon that it is. Together, they embarked upon the journey that is Vaayu, as much about creating a water sports-cum-accommodation centre, as it is a social and cultural breeding ground for environmental awareness, art, passion and ultimately, creating a community that prompts even the wandering visitor to question the ‘kind of impact they want to have on this planet’.
After opening Prana Cafe recently, an all-organic endeavour, at Vaayu, the 29th heralds the opening of Sachin Shetty’s exhibition ‘Drift’, ‘a self funded audio/visual art project based out of Mumbai; Drift encompasses everything from sound-design, video, street art, sculpture, drawings, and projection art’.
“I love street art as a form of expression because it’s open to everybody who uses the streets as a transition space in their waking moments. My process is mostly an intuitive intersection between mediums, heavily influenced by science fiction, patterns in nature and urban underground culture,” the artist explains to us a little bit about the various media he works with. “Rendered almost exclusively in a monochromatic palette and line-based compositions that have come to be synonymous with Drift, the final works have a hypnotic, meditative quality. I work in the publishing industry as an art director a few months in a year to fund my projects. Having had a strong presence in the Indian street art scene, I am passionate about using street art to establish deeper connections with people.
“Expression of any kind should be personal, it should come from within you. That way it stands out!”
Speaking about his favourite collaboration so far, he says, “Being a part of the Carnival of e-Creativity, an experimental festival based out of Uttarakhand, made me realize that spontaneous collaborations help activate new areas of expression and break down walls of conventional thinking processes.”
Elaborating on the upcoming ‘Drift’ exhibition at Vaayu, he shares, “I met Rahul and Jill, the Founders of Vision collective at the India Surf Festival and we had been talking about doing things together ever since. My show [that opens on the 29th] brings together photo and video documentation of Drift murals as well as pen-and-ink drawings on fresh banana leaves and paper, all of which was produced while in residence. Besides this, the exhibition will also show some older vector-based print-works and giff animations. Migrating Whales and Other Stories illustrates my artistic process as one that is entrenched in its contexts – whether in its engagement with community or the landscape it occupies, and one that seeks to strike a balance between traditional modes of expression like drawing or wall art and contemporary tools like computer-based interfaces, vector drawing and digital projection.The show ends with an audio-visual performance called ‘Soma’ which is a collaboration between my soundscape project ‘Antariksh’ and live visuals by Inkbrushnme.”
So what’s the ethos behind the name ‘Drift’?
“Drift to me signifies a process of free flowing expression.”
As for his affair with the monochromatic palette, he says, “I chose to deepen my understanding of form, and as part of this process I started to work exclusively in monochrome, without the distraction of colour.”
We asked him a little bit about how the idea of his theme ‘Migrating Whales and Other Stories’ originated
“The idea behind ‘Migrating Whales and other Stories’ was triggered by the casual observation that Goa more than most other beach-destinations has a number of mothers, among its tourist population, either pregnant with child or with their new-born infants in tow, (perhaps the natural birthing centre in Assagaon has something to do with this) while the idea of migrating, shifting populations is integral to Goa’s ‘seasonal’ rhythms.”
“I feel Goa needs to be more sensitive about how tourism affects its environment,” he cites as another interesting observation he made in Goa, recollecting that interacting with the local communities during street art sessions was definitely one of his favourite personal moments, mentioning fish thali and the local Russian cheese as some of the best food he’s eaten while floating around in Goa, that he can’t get enough.
“I am deeply touched by Vaayu’s passion for the Ocean and their sensitivity to the local ecology and community. To see how a business can also accommodate principles of Conscious capitalism in their philosophy is inspirational and something that will be a part of my consciousness for a long time,” he explains.
Asked about his favourite artists, he says, winding up, “Moebius and Space Invader. Moebius and sound experiments with The Flaming Lips would be the artists it would be a dream to collaborate with.”