Lekha Washington urges you to get creative with cubes and talks about her lunar experiment
vJ Lekha Washingtona��s navel, hottest must see! Google the actor and youa��ll probably come across a link that says this or something similar. But our multi-tasker from Chennai is no longer perturbed. The product designer and artist says Ajji, the a�?odd product companya�� she founded in 2013, keeps her busy and too fulfilled to worry about the unsavoury side of the Indian movie industry. You could say few things unsettle Washington these daysa��when her installation for the opening day of the Kochi Biennale, a lunar experiment featuring helium balloons and light, was destroyed by foul weather the night before the star-studded launch, the actress shrugged away her extreme disappointment and vowed to do it all over again in Mumbai, on a much larger scale. In hindsight, she chuckles, it is fitting that she named the a�?monumental, mad art piecea�?, This Too Shall Pass.
Of moons and atoms
It would be unfair to club Washington with other Bollywood hopefuls or star wives who turn a�?interior designera�� overnight. After all, she has been creating furniture and light fittings with a strong visual identity for a while, and has in her corner everyone from French couturier Jean Francois Lesage to interior designer Pinakin Patel. When she began auctioning limited-edition chairs and her Moon Dot series to fund her Kochi Biennale experiment a few months ago, the Godrej company stepped in to help out. She shares that hers is a conscious move towards functional art (this being a more easily accepted term among clients than a�?furniturea��, she observes). Be it her Pink Sink over a decade ago to The Drop, which travelled to shows in New York, and Atom, launched last month, her art marries design. a�?Art shouldna��t be too profound but must have a a�?wowa�� effect,a�? she insists. Featuring a strong sticking mechanism, Atom sees fundamental building blocks used to create a piece of furniturea��anything from a couch to a fort! Her materials of choice are fabric and metal. a�?My ideas have to be simple, strong and clear. Everything else is ornamental,a�? says the designer. But what wea��ll see first is a weatherproof This Too Shall Pass, her take on the moona��s phases. a�?After all, I have always been fascinated by lunacy,a�? she concludes.
Ajji products are priced from `3,000 and are available in Mumbai, Delhi and via the Facebook page.