At a time when the universal refrain is to “Look up!” Storycity’s Instagram-based project has only one perspective: down. This point-of-view however, does not fail to intrigue, as it captures the brightly patterned floor tiles of heritage buildings in Mumbai and tales that exist underfoot.
The Storycity project was set up by Ruchita Madhok and Aditya Palsule, principal designers at Kahani Designworks, aided by their team of designers and makers.
Why did they start the project?
“While researching our Building Bombay publication, we had a chance to enter some of the beautiful heritage buildings of South Mumbai and this is when we started documenting the tiles in these places,” says Ruchita. “We started Tiling Bombay as an Instagram project to share our findings with people and to encourage them to share theirs with us. It’s a social project to share with likeminded people.”
The team takes photos of the floors and then re-illustrate them, keeping the shades and patterns as close as possible to the original. Each image within Storycity India (@storycityindia) is a close-up shot of a pair of shoes or sandals and the floor, ensuring that the patterns – often a surprising riot of vibrant colours, and classic handmade tiles – are highlighted.
So far, the Elphinstone College, David Sassoon Library, the Rajabai Tower at the Fort Campus of the University of Mumbai, JN Petit Library have been featured.
Does the team have a favourite?
ANOTHER TRIP TO THE LIBRARY: as if we haven't gushed over the floors at JN Petit Library before, here's another beautiful specimen from the newly restored building. Have you been there yet? #tilingbombay #mumbaitiles #architecture #mintontiles #illustration #kahanidesignworks #heritage #mumbai #bombay #floored #lookdown #ihaveathingwithfloors
“There isn’t one particular tile as such, but our favourite spot in the city is the JN Petit Library. Each floor and each room of the library is tiled with a different pattern. This unsuspecting corner building proved to be a real treasure trove on our tile hunt,” comments Ruchita.
Can you contribute to the project?
Yes, you can. Send Storycity your discoveries on Instagram (@storycityindia) and the team will be in touch.
Storycity India is a simple reminder that the preserve of art is not restricted to paintings by old masters or porcelain sculptures; there’s a whole word of art to be discovered just beneath our feet.
To learn more about the project, visit Storycity’s site and follow (@storycityindia) on Instagram and Facebook.
Featured image source: Storycity India