These art installations in Mumbai capture life during the COVID pandemic

The Corona Quilt Project is a visual response to the world’s experiences during the coronavirus pandemic. The Indian leg of the project, which began as a digital exercise, has culminated in five vibrant art installations in South Mumbai. Here’s where you can find them.

In 1987, the AIDS Memorial Quilt was unfurled for the first time in Washington DC as a memorial to those who had lost their lives to the AIDS pandemic. Last year, artist and quilter Gina Kellogg co-founded a similar project in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Corona Quilt Project was meant to be a visual representation of “our lived experience through this pandemic, a collective voice of disruption and hope, loss and possibility, grief and new beginnings.”

The Indian leg of the year-long project, helmed by artist Dia Mehhta Bhupal and Neha Modi of conscious clothing brand, Pause, recently culminated in five installations across Mumbai. Each comprises a series of squares that pay tribute to frontline workers and explore themes illuminated by the pandemic, such as the idea of home, safety and nature. The team received over 12,000 submissions for the project from individuals and corporates across India, including celebrities such as Twinkle Khanna, Sania Mirza, Rana Daggubati and Mahesh Babu. 

Here’s where you can spot the installations:

Jindal Mansion, Peddar Road

Corona quilt project jindal mansion peddar road mumbai
‘A Rising Sun’ installation on the façade of the Jindal Mansion at Peddar Road, Mumbai. (Photo: Courtesy Corona Quilt Project)

Titled ‘A Rising Sun’, this is the first installation in the series. Artist Dia Mehhta Bhupal conceived the quilt as a symbol of hope for a better tomorrow. Individual panels featuring portraits of frontline workers who have battled the pandemic have been combined with elements of nature such as the sun, ocean and butterflies to form a silhouette of a sun rising above the coastline when seen from a distance.

Haji Ali Pumping Station, Haji Ali

Corona quilt project haji ali pumping station
The ‘Warriors Rise’ installation at Haji Ali is a tribute to frontline workers. (Photo: Courtesy Corona Quilt Project)

‘Warriors Rise’ is a montage of portraits of the doctors, nurses, police force and members of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) who led the charge during the coronavirus pandemic. The focus of the installation is a pumping heart, which symbolises the efforts made by frontline workers to keep citizens safe and healthy. 

Worli Seaface, Worli

Corona quilt project mumbai worli seaface
The Corona Quilt Project installation at Worli Seaface features butterfly motifs. (Photo: Courtesy Corona Quilt Project)

‘On the Rise’  wraps around the façade of a municipal school building with over 5,000 individual narratives coming together, including panels by artist Sameer Kulavoor, fashion designers Masaba and Gaurav Gupta and architect Ashiesh Shah. It is inspired by the form of a butterfly, a symbol of transformation, evolution and rebirth. 

Also look out for BEST buses on routes from Worli to Colaba, some of which will be wrapped in handmade quilts with the messaging ‘Live, Laugh, Love, Hope and Dream’ on them.

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These art installations in Mumbai capture life during the COVID pandemic