Observations by ecodecoarora
Originally posted elsewhere on 9 February 2011

Deeply influenced by his birth continent, El Anatsui is probably Ghana’s best-known artist export. He resides and works in Nigeria and his is a methodical and calm manner that remakes and repurposes items into world-class art.

Natasha ARORA Eco Deco at El Anatsui exhibit at ROM, Toronto, February 2011

The breadth of detail and required imagination in folding, manipulating, shaping, and essentially mapping colourful gin, rum and wine bottle-tops into complex design patterns that create colour harmony and illuminate colour-led African stories is, to say the least, extraordinary. First seen hanging from afar, the bendable metal-weaved tapestries may appear as actual woven textiles…


Observations by ecodecoarora
Originally posted elsewhere on 5 April 2012

This story is an ode to entrepreneurship and refutes the idea that the corporate machine, in this case, Ferns ’N’ Petals, the much preferred go-to shop for fresh flowers and floral arrangements across India, is any better because of its omnipresence than the much smaller shop with no infrastructure and no front door.

During my winter’s stay in New Delhi, I was charmed by the rustic roadside flower stalls across the city’s residential neighbourhoods. I love flowers: they can be beautiful, smell great, make you feel positive, and evoke a…


Observations by ecodecoarora
Originally posted elsewhere on 31 August 2012

The older I become the more I am taking note of the fleeting passage of time. It was well over four months ago when I first visited the Picasso exhibit at the AGO’s media preview. It had been a great morning of discovery and contemplation. Seasons have since changed, and the blockbuster show of masterpieces from Picasso’s personal collection borrowed from his namesake museum in Paris, is now over. What a run!

I was privileged to be there on the first day (see Major Works by PICASSO Arrive at the…


Observations by ecodecoarora
Originally posted elsewhere on 9 May 2012

On 24 April 2012, I attended the much anticipated preview of Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris at the Art Gallery of Ontario. A selection of 147 works from the artist’s personal collection held at the Musée in Paris ranging from photographs, works on paper and oils to bronzes and sculptures had been selected by Anne Baldassari, its chairwoman and chief curator of collections. Picassos were hung throughout seven rooms which comprised a chronological retrospective from the very beginning till the very end of the artist’s working life…


True story by ecodecoarora
Originally posted elsewhere on 2 December 2010

What a wonderful, intimate evening I spent at the Alliance Française of Toronto this week seated in front of Patricia de Nicolaï, renowned perfume creator, businesswoman and great grand-daughter of Pierre Guerlain, whose namesake fragrance company is appreciated globally. She initiated her curious audience to a cursory introduction of the history, science and art of perfume creation. Her slideshow chronologically explored a story spanning hundreds of years to modern day and up to the introduction of marketing as a clever then new tool to promote what are now some…


Observations by ecodecoarora
Originally posted elsewhere on 24 February 2011

Nobody could ever have imagined that the kind of events in late 2010 into 2011 would bring about the tremendous change the world is now bearing witness to in North Africa and the Middle East. Social, political and cultural changes in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere are sweeping these countries and this vast region toward a seismic chance, finally — after a combined 95 years and more of gerontocratic obedience by a few ruling families — towards democratic rule and a renewal of the human spirit.

Love is prevailing over…


True story by ecodecoarora
Originally posted elsewhere on 5 February 2011

The first time I heard about cultural historian, Annie Cohen-Solal, was last September while watching her in interview with Charlie Rose as she talked about her cherished friendship with gallerist Leo Castelli.

Actively involved in the arts and culture milieu in Toronto, I was naturally very excited to learn of Cohen-Solal’s visit to my adopted city. It would be a well-attended afternoon at the Alliance Française, a great cultural spot and a place I frequent on a regular basis. Much pleasure was derived sitting down to listen to her…


Artist Ben Shahn

Observations by ecodecoarora

Dear universe of the curious, generous, passionate, genuine, and civilized, as we move into MMXVIII, may wit, folly and surprise aplenty manifest themselves in decadent forms and sizes upon each and every one of us!

Now, twenty-six days and ticking into 2018, what I still believe to be utterly true (in my own life) is that life is short and life is hard. The fleeting passage of time, so precious, is difficult to contend with the older I get. It’s disbelieving that Y2K was not just yesterday. In a blink, days turn into weeks, months pass and…


Observations by ecodecoarora

I love the sound of silence. In particular, how the palpable but pleasurable weight of near-nothingness gives me an immediate sense of calm. But when I am in the bustle and noise of the city it is rare for me to experience it anywhere except possibly when I find myself in an elevator. Small talk, however, can easily interfere and replace this quiet time in a shared communal space by that one person who frankly may not be able to hold back. …


True story by ecodecoarora

At a Sunday dinner last March, surrounded by my dear mother and widowed friends in their eighties, I recounted a life moment that had transpired two days earlier.

Since 2013, my outside view onto the world has led me straight into another person’s apartment across a two-way street. I could see her silhouette throughout the changing light of day; she was old, hunched, white-skinned, and white-haired, and moved slowly but independently. She also lived alone, stylishly, on the top floor of a ritzy residence for seniors.

All this time, I took note of the seven lamps…

Natasha ARORA

Sustainable Interior Stylist & Art Advisor + Translator & Copy Editor

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