Highsnobiety: Meet the trailblazing artist in Bombay Sapphire’s installation Series
For better or worse, the past year has changed us. As we begin to take major steps toward resuming our normal lives post-COVID-19 (with safety still in mind, of course), it’s important to recognize all of the lessons we’ve learned about health, family, work, resilience, community, and humanity.
It’s safe to say that through the past year and a half, our realities have been altered as we’ve watched the world undergo dramatic shifts during restrictive lockdowns and reduced mobility. However, in contrast to the tragic scenes we saw on our TV screens and experienced in our personal lives, we’ve also had the opportunity to experience personal growth and, hopefully, have seen the best of humanity. A new community spirit has emerged that demonstrated that human beings collectively care for one another. Plus, many of us learned to embrace new ways of social engagement and how to reimagine the joy of art and communication.
With that in mind, this summer Bombay Sapphire will be presenting a new series of installations with innovative Canadian creatives as part of the ongoing Bombay Sapphire Art Project. The series of installations aim to bring together diverse audiences and offer an opportunity to reconnect us socially and safely using sculpture, AR, and multimedia techniques.
Each of the projects incorporates parts of Bombay Sapphire to elevate the experience and remind us that creativity can take us anywhere. The projects in the Bombay Sapphire Art Project, which will be shown in Toronto and Vancouver, are inspired by what the past year has taught us about our creativity, personal growth, and imagination. In fact, both projects embrace the timely and necessary practices of self-care, introspection, meditation, and wonder, in an effort to intentionally inspire diverse audiences to discover artistry, challenge their senses, and stir creativity within themselves. After all, creativity is such an essential part of being human.
The first installation, entitled “Sunday in the Strand of 4C,” is crafted by William Ukoh and Raquel Da Silva, and will be on display at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre starting July 25 for 10 days. Developed during the confinement of COVID-19, this installation is a reflection on the meditative nature of “self-care Sundays,” born from personal observations, past and present.
On the opposite side of the country, Ben Z Cooper has created a physical installation called “Effervescent Dream,” which will be on display at Vancouver’s Yaletown Station starting August 10 for two weeks. The overhead installation pulls our focus up from linear tasks and handheld screens, and invites viewers to see the sky as if from beneath a hazy, otherworldly field.
Both installations are curated by award-winning curator Ashley McKenzie-Barnes, and promise to examine feelings of nostalgia and connectivity to nature and community through the adaptation of sculpture, AR, and multimedia landscapes that incorporate unique elements of the Bombay Sapphire experience.
“Sunday in The Strand of 4C,” by William Ukoh and Raquel Da Silva, will be on display at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre starting July 25. “Effervescent Dream,” by Ben Z Cooper, will be on display at Vancouver’s Yaletown Station starting August 10. For more information on Bombay’s other creative initiatives, visit bombaysapphire.com/stircreativity.
Video Production: David Tennant / Tennant Films
Photographed by: Kyle Topping for Toronto artists