Looking beyond the ramp

Model Feroze Gujral at Kochi. Photo : Thulasi Kakkat   | Photo Credit: Thulasi Kakkat

Feroze Gujral with her offbeat good looks is that fresh face from the nineties that endorsed so many products, “except chocolates and ice creams”. She was among the first of the professional models who changed the Indian modelling scene. In the city in connection with the Kochi Muziris Biennale, Feroze is all excited about coming to Kerala from where her father hails. “I am very proud of my Kerala connection. My father George Ewari is from Thangaserry, Kollam,” she says.

Outset Art Fund

Feroze is the wife of architect Mohit Gujral and daughter-in-law of the renowned artist Satish Gujral. The Gujrals are stake holders in DLF, the owners of the historic heritage building Aspinwall, which is one of the main venues for the biennale. Feroze also manages the Indian wing of the Outset Contemporary Art Fund, a UK-based organisation that funds unique art projects. “I am trying very hard to be a production fund partner. The intent is to realise larger projects, to realise public space projects and do some unusual cutting-edge work. We are trying to collaborate with work that is exceptional,” she explains.

Feroze says that as a person interested in art and as an Indian, it is important to come forward for projects like the biennale. As Outset representative, Feroze is toying with the idea of presenting “some sort of an expression, in terms of installation or performance piece. This is an India pride project and we understand that. This ancient property will be the ideal place to host this.”

Away from the art scene, which is thrilling to her, she looks back on her days of modelling. In her days, she recalls, modelling carried a ‘dubious tag’. “People would ask if your parents allow you to do this, is your husband okay with it,” says Feroze, who married right after her schooling at Lawrence School Sanawar, at the age of 17. But she remembers that as a model then, “we were stars”.

Today she is happy about the changed scene, where “there is really no place for the model”. “That space has been taken over by Bollywood stars, sports people, reality show stars, and actual people, which is a good thing. The model is only on the ramp now.”

The other big change she finds in this scene is in the “face of the model”. In her time, a pan-Indian look was encouraged. “It was very delusive. Now, it is realism and achievement that is encouraged. It is super-professional now.”

Currently, Feroze keeps herself busy doing many different things. She writes for magazines, conducts events, works with different designer brands and with WWF.

For the biennale, she is planning an installation with lights, provided the logistics work out. Enjoying the waterfront Aspinwall property and in the company of artists, she is proud to be associated with the event. Her love for artists, she says is “because they think every idea, however bizarre, is possible.”

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 2:36:32 PM |

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