Where every brick tells a story
By Ayesha Singh
01st July 2012 12:00 AM
When it got harder for Gita Wolf, the founder of Tara Books, to display her collection in various bookstores, she opened her own space that would not only host her books, but also all book lovers. She called it the Book Building. This three-storied, ecologically friendly building would see many book and non-book related events in the future and it would become a space of discussion, deliberation and dialogue. Four months since its launch, it has become one of the most popular hang-outs in the city. “With the Book Building we felt the need to have a space that would show us in conversation with the many creative partners that as a publisher we have collaborated with, including artists, writers, designers and printers,” says Gita.
This unique cultural space, is dedicated to exploring the form of the book. “Our office and guest house are on the top floors. On the ground floor, one can enjoy murals created by a range of artists who work with us, browse through our books and art prints in the bookstore, view ongoing exhibitions, watch visiting artists at work, or just relax with a book in our outdoor gallery,” she says, adding that children are especially invited to use the playful reading corner.
Hosting many events like workshops, lectures and reading sessions, the cultural space has already made an identity for itself. Art was intended to run through the building, and that’s why you see a beautiful tree-shaped mural made by Gond artist Bhajju Shyam adorning one of the walls. “It represents the beautiful growth of the space over the next few years,” says Gita, who was a teacher of comparative literature at the University of Erlangen in Germany.
Since its launch on February 25, it has seen exciting and interactive participation from various groups of people enjoying events like a lecture by Chennai-based architect Mahesh Radhakrishnan, an architectural exhibition called Ideas in Space curated by The Madras Office for Architects and Designers, a series of talks held for local teachers about using picture books in the classroom and a lot more.
The coming months will see many more of them like Radical Possibilities: A Designer’s Vision of the Book, a presentation by Italian artist and designer Andrea Anastasio on June 30. Anastasio will explore the connections between content, materiality, form and craft of bookmaking. This will be followed by a children’s exhibition titled The Jungle in a Book, a play based on the book Catch that Crocodile, followed by another children’s exhibition in August. In addition, they have a host of events for parents and teachers every Saturday for the duration of these exhibitions. Take your pick and escape from the sweltering sun into a haven that offers books and more.
For more details log on to http://www.tarabooks.com
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