You will find objects of beauty and class at the Prakalyam Gallery, all curated by its owner Veshali Visvanaath
10/1/2014 1:02:26 PM
|written By : Nithya Subramanian|
Echoing leading British fashion designer Alice Temperley’s sentiment, “My favourite finds are often antique pieces with a history,” Veshali Visvanaath’s Prakalyam Gallery is filled with furniture and accessories that are stories in themselves.
Step into the sprawling space and you will be immediately transported to India of the yore when the well-heeled lived in homes that were artistic, yet practical. Art and design were evident in not just their grand doors like the 300-year-old one that Veshali chanced upon during one of her sojourns to Chettinad in Tamil Nadu, but even in small day-to-day utilities like a spice pounder or a paan daan (betel leaf box).
“Prakalyam is the story of India,” said the graceful Veshali who wears several hats – from owner of a gallery, to business woman, curator and antique dealer. She also helps at the family’s well-known restaurant business Muthu’s Curry Group, where she is in-charge of marketing and events.
Elaborating on the name, Prakalyam is derived from two Hindi words prachin (archaic) and kaal (time). “In Sanskrit this means beautiful things, and the meaning resonated well with both me and my husband,” she said.
The 37-year-old’s passion and love for antiques is evident when she starts talking about pieces from her collection. Like a child who has just discovered a secret, Veshali shows us the hidden chambers of a desk or the locking mechasim of some drawers. A huge mirror frame made from printing blocks that she found in Rajasthan displays her own creativity. “I found these unused blocks in a village and they couldn’t be used individually. So I decided to create a frame with a rather rough look and mount a mirror,” she said. Now it is a stunning piece of décor.
Another item that particularly caught my attention was the innovative use of a bullock cart. She has transformed it into a wonderfully earthy shelf that can hold decorative pieces or books.