Varuna Vessel installation, India

  • ST+ART India Foundation
    Sassoon Docks, Mumbai, India, November 2017



    We wanted to create an art piece that would celebrate the lives and culture of these hardworking fisherfolk by weaving the past and present together; South Asian folklore/mythology and the local fishing culture of present-day Sassoon Docks.

    Stories of miracles, unpredictability, determination and chance at sea and perhaps even a sense of someone above watching over them; are represented in this immersive installation of Lord Varuna and his loyal vessel Makaba, helping fishermen back to shore safely. 

    A large Varuna (King of the sea) and his loyal vessel (Makara) stand in the middle of the room. The foundation of the piece built from a fisherman’s gift to us; A retired fishing boat. 
  • A verse taken from a traditional Koli song translates to “As the golden sun sets, the sea turns magenta” reflects the beautiful light in the room and the window outside that overlooks the sea.
  •                 A mechanical fish crank activates to move Varuna’s head.

  • Two Koli tribe women on a merlion creature. Culturally, Koli women are strong, independant and brave.
  • Having experienced amazing hospitality from the fisherfolk at Sassoon Docks, we decided it would only be right for us to leave behind some good luck charms on their boats and around their town.