Arvind Indigo Museum
A museum and gallery dedicated to indigo in all its forms, the Arvind Indigo Museum is an ongoing project that was conceived by Sanjay Lalbhai, chairman and managing director of Arvind Ltd., a textile and denim manufacturing company. The museum will serve as both a repository of indigo dye-based objects and a space for artists and makers to explore the applications and uses of indigo across various mediums. Its ultimate aim is to make indigo relevant to contemporary art and craft practices and to thereby revitalise indigo cultivation practices. The upcoming museum space, designed by Stephanie Paumier of SPA Design, and located in the company’s campus on Naroda Road, is also expected to have a cutting-edge indigo laboratory for use by artists and collaborators.
An exhibition titled Alchemy was held at the Kasturbhai Lalbhai Museum in January 2019 to announce the launch of the museum project. It featured indigo-dyed fabrics and denim, as well as commissioned works by artists and designers such as Alwar Balasubramaniam, GR Iranna, Nalini Malani, Manish Nai, Tanya Goel, Amit Ambalal, Anshul Rajwansh, Manisha Parekh, Annie Morris and Gregor Hildebrandt, to name a few. The artists were provided with a workshop, resources and equipment to help them create works for the inaugural collection of the museum, which included installations, sculptures, paintings and textile work. The versatility of indigo was showcased through its use in materials as diverse as cement, brick, steel, paper and aluminium. The exhibition was an ode to the long and complex histories of indigo in India as well as an exploration of its untapped potential. The museum organised another show at the Kasturbhai Lalbhai complex titled Indigo in January 2020 as well as one for the first edition of the Denimsandjeans show in Tokyo, Japan, in March 2020.
The museum programming includes a range of events and activities for artists, artisans and visitors alike. Some of its planned offerings include a demonstration of Ashavali weaves by weaver Pareshbhai from Vidrol, an indigo dyeing demonstration by Malian artist Aboubakar Fofana and various co-creating events, residencies and workshops for Indian and international practitioners. The museum collection, being housed in the Kasturbhai Lalbhai Museum, will eventually be moved to the Naroda Road premises upon its completion.
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