Collaborations / Art

Celebrating The Freedom of Love — Le 15 x Design Fabric

We are celebrating Valentine's Day with a thought-provoking collaboration #LoveIsLove, where 4 artists imagine desserts that embody love without boundaries, which are being made into edible art by Le 15.

By Rohini Kejriwal on 05 February

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(L)Gaurvi Sharma's collage (R)Taarini Ravjit Singh's illustration

For Valentine’s Day 2018, Design Fabric is emphasising our limitless definition of love in the form of a meaningful collaboration with Le 15. The idea is to imagine new desserts to celebrate love without boundaries, of choice, that includes all genders and sexualities. We've invited 4 artists to interpret love in the form of a dessert, give their imagination a visual, and have it made with love into a scrumptious dessert by the amazing Pooja Dhingra of Le 15.

To celebrate this collaboration, we are hosting a tasting at Le 15, Colaba, on February 7, where people can come taste these desserts and look at the work that inspired them alongside. The 4 desserts will also be available during the week leading up to V-Day at the patisserie.

We spoke to the collaborators of the project about their experience:

Pooja Dhingra

Sanket and I first talked about collaborating on a project at INKTalks in Hyderabad. We brainstormed and the ideas just fit together naturally. Even though Valentine's Day is all about hearts and flowers, I feel that as a community, we need to be more inclusive and open to different ideas of love. The artworks communicate this in their own way and I hope that my desserts do the same.

It’s been an exciting collaboration and the desserts are my interpretation of what the artists created. The colours and designs instantly made me think of certain flavours and I used that as a starting point. It was quite a challenge to get the various flavours and textures I imagined to work well together as desserts and also look as beautiful as the artworks. But it’s all worked out!

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(L) Taarini Ravjit's illustration (R) Pooja's interpretation made with chocolate genoise sponge with dark chocolate ganache, salted caramel and coloured ganache drip

Molten Rainbows— Taarini Ravjit Singh

When I read the brief, I decided to divide my work process into two layers. First I thought I’d figure out how to show love beyond boundaries and then move on to creating a dessert using the same concept. For love beyond barriers, I thought of how an act of love - like a warm hug, is simply that, no matter who the two individuals sharing it may be. So I tried to think of how to use these in a dessert.

I personally love desserts in a jar — they’re easy to eat and everything looks good and tastes good. I thought it would be perfect to show all my visuals in one, fusing and melting into one another, almost embracing. So I started by drawing the artwork on paper till I got what I was aiming for and then took it on to the coloured stage digitally.

The artwork has hidden elements like hands and faces of people in the gooey mess, which I tried to play around with to make the visual more interesting. I also thought of using other elements like pretzels with hands and ice cream scoops hugging one another to suit the theme better. I decided to make the work very fluid and used a lot of pinks and pastel shades to resemble ice cream, candy and other sweets. I am seeing this jar as the world, and each one of these elements fit in it perfectly, because at the end of the day, all forms of love are just love! I really look forward to knowing how my art will taste.

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(L) Osheen Shiva's Crimson Crush illustration (R) Pooja's interpretation is a red velvet sponge and dark chocolate ganache, topped with red whipped cream and chocolate rose petals

Crimson Crush — Osheen Siva

Pooja's thoughts: It's a bright and strong work of art that reminds me of the power that a BIG love can hold.

The concept of this artwork is to embody unity and versatility bound by love. My initial interpretation of the work was more figurative and involved elements that I usually experiment with, such as portraits and typography. However, after a couple of iterations, I attempted to try my hand at 3D and abstract translations that demonstrate integrity and affection. The process of trying a different medium and style by itself had been pretty daunting and satisfying at the same time. The thrill of dancing with the trust and delving into an uncharted territory encouraged me to try further.

In terms of the composition and idea of the artwork, my thought process was to predominantly play with shapes, textures and colors that signify the feeling of being in love and being loved. The small elements that are unique when viewed individually combine together to form an abstract and dynamic entity. This draws a parallel to our society at large where unique individuals with their beauty, flaws and versatility, often find a way to come together to form a cohesive and loving union as a whole. In terms of colour, I chose red because it has always been a hue that exudes passion, intensity, energy, vigor and compassion, which are the qualities that personify the notion of love to me.

It’s always exciting to see a piece of art manifesting in various avatars. This time, it’s particularly exhilarating to experience it being translated by a creative person like Pooja who adds her own spin and interpretation to the work.

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(L) Bhavya Kumar's Sketch of 'Charting Dissonance' (R) Pooja interpretation is a vanilla sponge layered with red buttercream, decorated with chocolate soil and red fondant roses

Charting Dissonance — Bhavya Kumar

Quite honestly, I faced trouble interpreting love in this case. I haven't quite been in love but I’m not asexual either. But then, that is according to the popular ideas of heterosexual romantic interactions. For some reason, there is a major dissonance in my sexuality and personality. I can't quite define it. It used to hurt a little to see people happy in their microcosms and the fact that, the universe had denied it to me. However, that also sort of expanded my idea of love. I love a lot of things now, though not necessarily with a romantic or sexual connotation.

And while I can imagine love as a benevolent force, I can't ignore the fact that the experience of it needs friction. My concern was less about the apparent idea of love and more about the multi-faceted experience of it. This impacted the choice of colouring of it, and I went with a very simplistic code of black and white with reds blooming here and there. It has come to me with beauty in its bleakness, or may I say, a certain romanticised version of it. To me, love isn’t as much about the other person as much as it is about you. The result of all these conversations with myself led to creating a portrait of the difficult, rocky, and layered terrain that the experience of love has been. I imagined the insides of the cakes to have layers and a molten core of sorts for the people interacting with it to literally traverse through the outside and the inside.

It didn’t take me a lot of time to conceptualise the artwork. I was struggling with time to get it right, but a little bit of jazz helped with the lines. There were a bunch of varied iterations and sketches to get the form right. Interestingly, this is the very first time I’m consciously using my art to express something very personal.

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(L) Gaurvi Sharma's 'Love Above All' (R) Pooja interpretation is a dark brown based choux pastry with vanilla pastry cream decorated with red ganache, topped with chocolate spoons, flowers and stars

Love For All — Gaurvi Sharma

This collaboration is about love, and my process and artworks in general are all about emotions, mostly love. I started sketching, doodling and finally decided to collage as the texture was easy and fun and I enjoy it as a medium. My only thought was ‘I’m making it for someone I love’, and slowly, piece by piece, the collage came to life. Because I was already working on a piece where I’m dancing under a dark, starry sky with my lover, it was quite natural for some of the elements to flow into this collaboration as the two were on similar themes. My idea was that the starry sky, falling star, and two forms dancing on top of the red dome tells a story of deep love because we need more love when we are in the dark. So my interpretation was that ‘Under the sky, we are all same and we are here to celebrate love.’

I also jotted down a poem on Love:

When we have love, we have everything.
Love makes this world such a wonderful place ...
love makes us forgiving, love makes us appreciate little things and above all, love makes our lives worth living.
Every love story is special and no less than a fairytale

I’ve seen Pooja’s work and simply love how she makes food such an engaging affair and am thrilled to see her interpretation of my art. Though it was difficult to imagine edible art, I‘m glad that Design Fabric gave me an opportunity to work on this collaboration.

The #LoveIsLove dessert tasting is on 7th Feb. Buy your tickets here.

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