TSGATST-19_Teaser

THE SEA GIVES, AND THE SEA TAKES.

Letter printed booklet as part of Travelling Patterns—a book that takes inspiration from
 the remarkable tradition of block-printed patterns in India.

TSGATST_Cover_small

Inspired by the designs and motifs that feature on traditional Indian textiles—wall hangings and fabrics—I have gone on to create contemporary motifs, inspired by what I saw while in Chennai. But I have stayed true to the grammar of traditional patterns—the way they are arranged, through repetition and realignment of various visual elements.
My subject is the Chennai coast—I was startled by the astonishing nature of the beach in the city, so different from anything that I have seen in Europe. Equally, I was surprised to hear of how unpredictable the ocean was, and how, during the monsoon season, it is home to storms and cyclones. I wanted to capture the rhythms of life on this coast. Being a type designer, I decided to create patterns out of objects that I noticed on the streets and the beach: board games, chairs, grilled windows, food stalls . . .

TSGATST-4_small
TSGATST-9_small
TSGATST-14_small
TSGATST-18_small
TSGATST-23_small
TSGATST-26_small
TSGATST-32_small
TSGATST-36_small
TSGATST-39_small

As I went along, I did more: I created lettering, in which the alphabets double as patterns.
When I finished, I realised that I had put together a visual dictionary of everyday life and things, as I saw them, along a stretch of the southern Indian coast.
These images keep with the logic of textile art—they repeat, recombine and realign an array of shapes and forms. Being a graphic designer/type designer and lettering artist myself, I was fascinated by all the beautiful handpainted shop signs all over Chennai. At the beaches of Pondicherry, I saw very unique numbers and motifs on boats, the huge hand written and drawn graffiti of all kinds of political parties on walls along the road.
To me beach and street life in India readily provides a lot of patterns and ornaments in itself. Mostly shops and food stalls displaying their offerings arranged and stacked, forming a repetitive pattern.

TSGATST-21_small

To provide more visual background informations I designed the accompanying Xerox zine BLOCKS ON THE BEACH.

Details of letterings and patterns

TSGATST-55_small
TSGATST-54_small
TSGATST-59_small
TSGATST-57_small
TSGATST-56_small
TSGATST-52_small

My warmest regards go to Dr. Katharina Görgen, director of Goethe Institut Chennai, who made this endavour possible.
I am most greatful for the collaboration with Tara Books.

All my love goes to the incredible people I met along that creative journey—especially Ruchi Shah and Aditi Jain.

2024
20 pages
280 × 210mm
Letter press

Paper: 200 gsm – handmade from recycled cotton waste
Zine

TSGATST-20_Teaser