5. Making the Box


In the aftermath of Diwali, I began desperately to look for ways to make the actual box. I am not a carpenter, and though can be very meticulous with my hands, I have vague memories of almost sawing my finger’s off in workshop sessions in art school many years ago. After realising that the option of importing an unpainted kavaad from India would be tricky, I started to look for carpenters in Madrid crazy enough to set out on this venture with me. I met Ana Perez on Calle Madera (wood street) and fell in love with her. In parallel we began to study the structure of the kavaad: I was determining the structure based on the narrative requirements of the story, and she was analysing the technical difficulties of the making and assemblage of the box. Through the summer, we met and worked out the wrinkles, and all the while, I began a story board of the tale in a paper-theatre format.

It seemed a bit absurd at the time, that I would make a theatre-book in order to map out the story, but I trusted my stubborn instinct and my constant desire to work more than necessary and spent a lot of time drawing and cutting out the story.

In the meantime, I also began playing with acrylics and would panels to create a visual vocabulary that I could use on the kavaad. I decided to use a variation of the traditional kavaad palette, which is always in a fiery red with primary colours and black line.




In the meantime, at Maderas Perez, Ana was finishing up the wooden piece. The day I went to pick it up was something of a celebration. She had thrown in a few surprises: decorative friezes, a secret drawer for tips, little handles on the inner temple doors. Now, I just had to figure out how I was going to tell the story, and began to paint it on the kavaad.





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