Atul Johri, architect and designer, brings out his new collection after 8 years, and it’s worth the wait. Yet 8 years aren’t long when you think of the age of a tree that has been growing, strengthening for decades and then gets chopped down in an hour. Atul’s art is a tribute to the beautiful old trees and the beautiful old craft of woodworking, both of which are now being felled thoughtlessly.
Everything in this collection is made from recycled wood. No new trees have been felled for this. Discarded wood has been taken and given a new life in the hands of craftsmen trained by Atul Johri, who has made Channapatna his home, and the people there, his responsibility. The old forgotten art of woodwork that once had Channapatna famous for its lacquer wooden toys and artefacts, now lies by the wayside, in the threat of Made-in-China machine-made replicates. Atul Johri trains and works with his artists to fuse the old wood art with avant-garde designs to bring out exquisite pieces of art and utility that have found their way into the most elite of places.
This collection features lamps and lighting ideas, which are his signature products, made of wood and handmade paper – hanging and table top, shedding shades of light and shadow across rooms. In addition is the range of lacquer work contemporary living objects. Atul’s goal is to convert Channapatna into a tourist paradise, where people from all over the world can come and see the intricacies of art and the ideal of living a life along with nature, not just at the mercy of machines. The youth of this village flee to cities in the hope of menial jobs, abandoning their rich traditions learnt over generations. Atul Johri hopes to reverse this flow. He hopes The Old Tree will bring the future back to them.