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Lovebirds, Communion

A Space without constraints. Art without limitations.

Taking up this solemn space by the side of the 1840 built-in navy church - popularly known as Wesley Church, Lovebirds Studio stands as a symbol of peace and serenity. This colaba store is a statement space that houses the works of designers Gursi Singh and Amrita Khanna. Run independently and collaboratively, ‘Lovebirds' creates apparel for women that focuses on ethos rather than trends and makes quiet, mature acts of norm-breaking, one dress at a time. Functionality, timelessness, modernity and playfulness are the inherent elements of the brand and therefore ignite the foundations of each collection.

Drawing inspiration more from architecture, graphic design, vintage fashion and less from the latest runway trends, the duos approach has always been more qualitative rather than quantitative that keeps their garments relevant at all times and seasons. Their curations adapt to an individual’s personality and marry into their wardrobe, offering something unique, understated, sophisticated and intellectual pieces.

The store is designed by Saurabh Dakshini, the idea was to first restore the space and bring in brand elements as an installation in the space. The launch of ‘Communion’ is an attempt to ground emerging and experimental work that would otherwise be dislocated in an increasingly digital world. ‘Our hope is to lend this space to emerging artists to help bring more meaning and intimacy to people’s interaction with art and its interpretations’, asserts Gursi in a casual conversation at the launch.

Designers - Gursi Singh and Amrita Khanna

His vision is veracious, “over the next year, our Colaba store will house various creators’ practices and explorations on a revolving basis, supporting an open-ended exchange of ideas, dialogues, research and disciplines’. To this Amrita adds, ‘We hope to shape this vision with every person who finds their way here, be it as a participant, observer, or both’.

The launch of Communion by Lovebirds is with Brooklyn-based textile artist & knitwear designer Shradha Kochhar. She is a textile artist and knitwear designer based in Brooklyn, New York. Best known for her home-spun and hand-knitted ‘khadi’ sculptures using Kala Cotton - an inherently organic cotton strain indigenous to India, her work is at an intersection of material memory, sustainability and intergenerational healing. Focusing on generating a physical archive of personal and collective south Asian narratives linked to women’s work, invisible labor and grief, the work is large-scale and exists as sculpture beyond whispers over generations.

Her work comprises sculptural and flat knitted objects in soft ecru and brown. The objects include family portraits, alternate tools and future heirlooms illustrated as heavyweight dense abstract forms replicating the human body and its parts intertwined in a loosely coiled spiral as well as delicate translucent two-dimensional knitted drawings suspended midair. The work is made from hand spinning kala cotton - a cotton crop indigenous to India on a portable booklet spinning wheel (charkha) and hand knitting it into textures and structures that mimic the skin on our bodies.

Focusing and investigating resources lost and born out of colonization in India such as ‘Khadi’ - a self-reliant and equitable practice of textile making and Kala Cotton, a miracle cotton crop that sustains completely on seasonal rainfall as solutions to climate change, water shortage, soil degradation and social inequity. Built from an ongoing library of seed banks that documents indigenous cotton strains found across the world, unraveling the intersection of words - ‘cotton’, ‘cloth’, ‘colonization’ and ‘community’.

Talking about what inspires her work, she mentions, ‘I think a lot about what binds us all as people from all over the world, time and space - I believe it is the soil that nurtures, the hand that gets passed on each generation and the air we continue to collectively breathe. I also believe that this connection through commonalities is integral in blurring all lines between our differences’. She makes textiles as a reflection on the ways in which history and memory, invisibility and the effects of politics, space, symbolism, stereotypes and gazes interact.

Work on view 8th September - 24th September

5 pm - 8 pm

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