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"Dream Catcher" est l'oeuvre collective réalisée par les artistes indiens Arzan Khambatta, Brinda Miller et Sunil Padwal à partir des ateliers qu'ils ont menés avec les enfants réunis par Snehasadan. Elle a été exposée sur plusieurs sites publics de Mumbai (Victoria Terminus, Phoenix Mall, Kala Ghoda Festival)

When we decided - Arzan Khambatta, Brinda Miller and Sunil Padwal - to collaborate on the project, a medley of ideas was thrown together. The important thing was to see eye-to-eye and agree on a single concept. The only way to do this was by taking a trip into the heart of Mumbai City. The artists walked through the narrow lanes of Pydhonie, Mohammad Ali Road and Chor Bazaar. They ‘felt’ our way around.


The experience of the hustling, noisy, dirty, dusty, bustling streets projected in a way, a sharp contrast between this crazy hub versus the almost sheltered lifestyle of the children at Snehasadan… who were obviously from these very same streets, but had been raised and groomed at Snehasadan, the sanctuary that played the role of teacher, mentor and parent all in one.


The challenge was to bring these contrasts together. Though the street kids are extremely happy at Snehasadan, they certainly had ambition and drive to move on. It was apparent through their unusual ‘dreams’ and/or ‘wishes’, which were interestingly rendered on coloured wish cards, over two workshops conducted by the artists.


There was a distinctive difference between the boys and girls of Snehasadan. The boys were spontaneous, freethinking, wild and happy. So were their drawings and paintings.

The girls were happy too, however they were quieter, mature and in complete control.


After wandering around in these narrow streets, which are lined with wholesale dealers selling plastic, paper, metal and all kinds of ‘raw’ material, the artists chanced upon the mousetrap shop, and the consensus was that this would be the appropriate thematic element for the installation.


The wishing tree concept was in any case an underlying concept. The seed had been planted in the artists’ minds from the very beginning and they worked in unison to ensure that the composition of the installation fell into place, through the inclusion of the photographed portraits, wish cards, and the collected objects.


The entire installation is in the shape of a cube, representing a house. The idea of the cube came about as the artists from France (with whom the artists from India are collaborating on this project) had previously worked on a theme using wooden cubes.


There is a saying, “If wishes were horses beggars would fly.”


Contrary to what the artists thought, unusual wishes and dreams were drawn, painted and written. For example, ‘I wish I was water’ or ‘I want to be a hairdresser’ or ‘I would like to help the poor’.


We were amazed by the sparkle in the children’s eyes, which complimented their honest enthusiasm. Their contribution by way of parting with their personal belongings, which they had collected over a period of time and have been used in the final installation, was indeed a generous gesture on their part.

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