Buy a plate to put food on someone else’s. That’s the simple but refreshingly engaging idea behind The Plated Project. The Mumbai-based initiative has in the past four months roped in 40 nutritious food for a child.
And high profile artists like The Big Fat Minimalist (Aniruddh Mehta) who worked on the title sequence of Sacred and Bharti walls like the Prime Minister’s office – were happy to saying yes for a good cause. Founder Chitresh Sinha, who heads the Chlorophyll Innovation Lab (a dedicated collective of creators and problem solvers), was hit by the idea when he was out for a meal at a restaurant.
Twenty-four hours later, his team was brainstorming over themes and logistics. “What’s different about this concept is that in buying one of these plates for your home, you aren’t just funding a meal. Someone is going to ask about that plate, and that creates a conversation which is far more wide-reaching than making a donation.” To reach out to artists and curate a range of eclectic styles, we’re told that art curators have been roped in from Canada and India.
Each collection is designed around a theme with a specific target in mind, based on the needs of the NGO which will receive the proceeds. “Our last collection with six plates was aimed to prevent malnutrition in kids,” Sinha shares with us.
He elaborates, “Each artist was asked to pick one happy memory from their childhoods and paint it. Except there was a catch – they had to leave one-fourth of the plate empty, because one in every four children in India is malnourished.”
So when people see a plate, they ask why the empty space? And the answer triggers a realisation and awareness that stays on your mind a lot longer than a statistic. Other series’ have included raising funds for midday meals for students and daughters of sex workers, with more on the way. “These series are not finite and continue to stay live which means that other artists can contribute to them as we go forward,” he adds. Perhaps the only downside to these art plates is that you can’t literally eat off them. But Sinha tells us, “We do have some cutlery- specific designs in the pipeline.” Available online.
Cost of one plate is Rs 1,420 plus taxes. artists from the world over to work on a limited edition art plate. Each plate sold equates to 14 plates of nucred Games Dayal whose Madhubani paintings go upward of Rs 1 lakh and sit on distinguished Chitresh Sinha