Design Pataki Launches DP OFFLINE In Madurai: Contemporary Artworks Meet Everyday Objects

  • 7 Nov '23
  • 1:00 pm by Crew

Contemporary artworks meet everyday objects at the Palimpsest House in Madurai. Earlier this year, beautiful heritage properties and mansions opened their doors to guests for the second edition of the Chettinad Heritage and Cultural Festival. This year, the festival extended its geographical reach and included programming in Madurai as well. In partnership with the Sumanth Ram Collective, Design Pataki co-hosted an art and design showcase that brought together talented designers from around the country working with material and design in interesting new ways. Set against the backdrop of the castle-like Palimpsest House– located on the banks of River Vaigai in Kochadai–the showcase took place marked the closing of the heritage festival. The showcase was one of the many elements that went into curating an unforgettable evening in Madurai. 

It was a five-day event that took place from the 29th of September to the 5th of October and was hosted by the Chettinad Heritage and Cultural Trust instituted by the author Mrs Meenakshi Meyyapan. The festival showcased the rich heritage and traditions of the Chettinad region and allowed visitors to explore the town’s art, architecture, culture and cuisine through guided tours, cooking demonstrations at The Bangala, and Carnatic music performances and dance recitals by Leela Samson’s students. The festival was a harmonious blend of history, art, and flavours, making it an event that truly encapsulates the essence of Chettinad’s cultural legacy. 

A remarkable architectural creation, the Palimpsest House gets its name from the existing column layout that it was designed around. (Image credits: psview photography)

With stunning views of the city, two courtyards and its seamless harmony with nature, Palimpsest was like a living canvas of architecture, tranquillity and beauty. Sumanth Ram, the architect uses an Indo-Sri Lankan style that combines elements of history, sustainability, and design. For instance, the home uses a refurbished palace door from Hyderabad, which stands tall against a white lime-plastered wall. The floor of the house has been designed using colourful granite circles salvaged from the tombstones at Madurai Arkay Rock Produce or MARP India. 

The showcase included brands like Rhizome by Rebecca Reubens, Floating Canvas Company by Rahul Singh Yadav, Shakti Swarup Sahu and Agam Mehta, Eina Ahluwalia, Black Cube by Sanya Malik, Arjun Rathi- Rural Modern Glass, Yasanche by Yashesh Virkar, Nama Home by Namit Khanna, Cocoon Fine Rugs by Ayush Kasilwal, Shailesh Rajput Studio, and artists like and Ajay Patil. The showcase also included the legendary Padma Shri Dashrath Patel – father of NID (National Institute of Design) who talked about the Dashrath Patel Museum in Alibaug which displays his path-breaking work in painting, ceramics, photography and design that can be experienced in totality. Curated by Esha Gupta, the founder of Design Pataki, the pieces are showcased as featured in the images and descriptions that follow.  


Also Read: Winners For The DP Debut Awards In Partnership With Istituto Marangoni, Mumbai

Work by Ajay Patil (Image credits: psview photography)

The ‘O3 chair’ by Nama Home steps away from mundane furniture trends with its beautiful ode to geometry. The bespoke design is minimal, boasting three circles along the arms and the back––a great way to showcase geometric intricacy in any contemporary space. 

Bold colours, minimal design, and plenty of mystery is the best possible way to define artist Ajay Patil’s artworks. The two works on display used bold tones of black and red outlined by Mark Rothko’s quote, “There is only one thing I fear in life, my friend: One day, the black will swallow the red.”

Left: Bespoke lamps by Shailesh Rajput Studio and right: Unique benches by Yasanche. (Image credits: ps view photography)

The Shailesh Rajput Studio presented two bespoke table lamps. One called ‘Tu:lua,’ crafted from reinforced hard clay, mimics the intricate structure of branching coral. The other titled ‘Ko:sh,’ an ode to nature and its creations, is a raw, compelling piece that stands out on its own. It boasts a unique lampshade fashioned in a delicate, webbed pattern that is reminiscent of the cocoon built by the Urodidae moth.

Yasanche captured the beauty of the past and present with two unique benches. The first was a minimalist, art deco piece inspired by the ancient Indian civilisation, while the other was a modern acrylic piece designed with transparent legs and plush seating to evoke a sense of luxury living. 

Left: Work by Yashika Sugandh, Black Cube and right: Minimalist Dress Mannequin by Rhizome. (Image credits: ps view photography)

Black Cube showcases work by visual artist Yashika Sugandh who often looks at the Bhagavad Gita for inspiration for her artworks, and her latest piece – ‘Leher’ is no different. She refers to a quote from the Gita, where trees are referred to as Paropkar and the symbol of total dedication to compassion and service towards others.

Rhizome has been pioneering sustainable design since 2009, aiming not just for eco-friendliness but also for the creation of a more sustainable and better world. The brand presented a minimalist dress mannequin handcrafted from bent bamboo slats. 

Left: The Yasmine Collection by Cocoon Fine Rugs and AKFD, right: Glass work by The Rural Modern Glass Studio. (Image credits: ps view photography)

The ‘Yasmine Collection’ was a collaborative collection by Cocoon Fine Rugs and AKFD. It presented a fresh new take on artisanal furniture that captured the timelessness of hand-woven rugs and unique designs that stand out as meaningful works of art. 

The Rural Modern Glass Studio has one of the largest collections. These included pieces by artists Jeremiah Jacobs and Matthew Pipenbrok. Designed in soothing tones of blue, green and white, the glass art pieces were reminiscent of the organic forms and textures found in coral formations while some drew inspiration from the depth and fluidity of the ocean.

Left: Candelabras by Eina Ahluwalia, O3 Chairs by Nama Home and Right: Works by various artists including Durghbhai Vyam from the Floating Canvas Company. (Image credits: ps view photography)

Eina Ahluwalia showcased two spectacular candelabras. The first was an ornate gold-plated Victorian-style brass candelabra featuring intricate floral and acanthus patterns, and the second, ‘Old Soul Candlrebras’ was a silver-plated one with decorative acanthus leaves, flower-shaped drip pans, and claw-shaped feet. 

Floating Canvas Company adorned the space with vibrant works of art from the FCC Collective and a standout piece by artist Durgabai Vyam. Each of these paintings had bright, bold depictions inspired by nature, flora & fauna, Indian folktales, festivals and celebrations. 

Black Cube showcases work by visual artist Yashika Sugandh who often looks at the Bhagavad Gita for inspiration for her artworks, and her latest piece – ‘Leher’ is no different. She refers to a quote from the Gita, where trees are referred to as Paropkar and the symbol of total dedication to compassion and service towards others.

Sustainability is a central theme for the house, and so all doors and windows were procured before construction while joineries were made from refurbished wood. The design emphasizes harmony over strict symmetry by incorporating varied proportions throughout the home. The DP OFFLINE X Palimpsest House showcase was an ethereal curation of modern art and design. Over 20 exquisite pieces transcend traditional decor, represent contemporary Indian living, and reinvent the concept of a modern home. 

The evening ended on a high note with an intimate dinner put together by Chef Vichithra Rajasinghe alongside musical performances and special announcements. Meanwhile, the Sumanth Collective also announced the launch of its e-commerce platform while Art Mumbai made a satellite launch at the showcase.