Like everything else these days, Mother’s Day is going to be a bit more challenging to celebrate. Folks who are working hard to keep their loved ones safe, but still want to show their love for them on this occasion, have one creative, virtual option: a virtual flower bouquet, courtesy of India’s Museum of Art and Photography.
Flowers and sending a big flower bouquet have always been the perfect Mother’s Day gift because they symbolize life, love, and hope, and hope is something we all sorely need more of these days. That’s why the Museum of Art and Photography (MAP) created the Bouquet of Hope project.
The Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) is a new museum being built in Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India. Its mission to showcase and highlight Indian’s artistic heritage and contribution, through a new form of museum cultural that embraces modernity and technology. MAP founder Abhishek Poddar first thought of the Bouquet of Hope idea when he was looking for a bold way to celebrate his parents’ wedding anniversary. In his own words:
“In 1989, my sister and I pulled off the surprise of their life for our parents’ silver wedding anniversary.[…]we requested 25 of India’s well-known artists to create a single flower, one for each year of our parents’ married life together till then, in the artists own inimitable style. All we told our parents in the weeks leading up to the big day was that they were going to receive a very special bouquet of flowers from us. And then on the day of their anniversary, amidst all the beautiful flowers that poured in from friends and family from around the country, they wondered why our ‘bouquet’ had not yet arrived. In the evening, as they celebrated with friends, the ‘bouquet’ was quietly installed in their bedroom in just the way it is presented below. Their expressions of bewildered joy are unforgettable! Every image reminds us, as a family, of a friendship, an incident or a story behind each painting.”
As India underwent a strict lockdown to curb the COVID-19 spread, the virtual artistic bouquet idea bloomed again, this time as a way to inspire hope and togetherness through the ongoing crisis. People from around the world, be they successful artists, avid gardeners or every day folks like you and me, are encouraged to contribute their own flower to the bouquet, to spread this beautiful message far and wide. All you have to do is snap a picture of a flower, any flower, and upload it to MAPs website using their handy button.
Over a thousand flowers have been submitted to the Bouquet of Hope website, including from Michele Oka Doner, Ralph Gibson, Jay Levenson (MoMA), Zandra Rhodes, Fern Mallis, Daisy Soros, Colin B. Bailey (Morgan Library & Museum). Some were drawn or painted, others photographed their garden or a motif from fabric. It’s sure to become the largest bouquet ever created, and that’s a beautiful idea in itself.
For those in search of that special Mother’s Day gift, it’s as easy as picking your favorite arrangement of flowers from the blooms in MAPs online garden, and virtually sending the bouquet of your choosing to your loved one. You can even submit a flower of your own and build a bouquet around it. Flowers can be sent from and submitted to: www.bouquetofhope.in.