By Lalit Hira
Just as water is incomplete without that one molecule of oxygen, interiors are incomplete without art. Exploring ‘Fine Art & Interior Décor’ – the human perspective...
It isn’t always that we take a moment to ponder on the two inseparables – fine art and interior décor; but when we do, we realise that they are correlated by the human perspective.
In my various interactions with eminent architects and designers, I was once asked a very strange question –“What is the distance between an architect and an interior designer?” I wondered whether this was another wisecrack! But the answer was indeed amazing and thought provoking!
The answer was – “11 inches” – just 11 inches!
“How do you mean?” I asked.
I was told - that an architect visualises a detail, which is a fraction of a foot – 3, 6, 9, and 12 not below - while an interior designer visualises the fraction of an inch.
“And the artist?” I asked quickly. “An artist”, he said, “is just 1 inch away from both – adept at lending that subliminal charismatic touch to the creative genius of the architect as well as the designer”.
It is very difficult, I would say, to anatomise every nuance of interiors and architecture that has been afflicted by art. There was a time when art manifested itself in the décor of a building, as a soul inhabits its assigned body. Even today this holds true. There really is no difference in the perception of the artistic.
While “a well designed” edifice was once predominated by neoclassicism, baroque, and ornamental designs and motifs, today design is characterised by sleek contemporary lines that classically trace the contours and forms that at once become stylised, upbeat and trendy. It is size that has made a cognisable difference - from the elaborately painted interiors to a painting within the set parameters of a frame – hung on the wall.
Art has traversed - from the authoritarian churches to the nurturing riches of the Raje Maharaje, (kings) from the shrines of Ajanta-Ellora-Khajuraho, where one could only appreciate the rich artistry from afar, and the age-old manifestations of folklore and tribal art, down to the household of the common man.
Yet, irrespective of the milieu, we are far from naïve about the transgressions that characterise the field of art and strongly influence a clear cultural definition. Which then leads us to the premise that we care little for creating a context of relevance or purposefulness where art is concerned.
In simple words – the baton lies in the hands of us - interior designers and architects. We are the ones who can truly influence the art lovers, home-makers and spearhead a true appreciation for art. It is we, who can budget for art at the onset of the project, and grant it its true value by prioritising art purchase as integral as the bathroom fittings.
The second dimension to this thinking-aloud is - Do we really, sincerely appreciate a true talent for what it is worth rather than what it is tagged with – the name, the price? Does the fresh face stand a chance in the burgeoning milieu of the famed? Are we open to promoting a fresh talent? If yes, to what extent?
Are we sensitive to the creative genius of a person from the lower rungs of the social ladder? In what manner? Speech and speech alone or deed? What manner of deed? A one off fling with a social cause?
I would like to conclude with an example – most people are like a glass upside down, when it comes to a willingness to learn – whatever you try to pour – is wasted!
Fortunately, for us – the audience for art is like a glass right side up – some may even be like a glass half filled – and there is always scope for learning.
We have a responsibility to be just a little more aware of what we pour into that glass. And if in these last few moments of our interaction, this awareness has been emphasised even a little – then my objective is achieved.
Lalit Hira is an interior & furniture designer based in Mumb ai, India. He is also the Founder-CEO of Gallery Pradarshak & India Art n Design Ezine