Ananya Pathak

‘A plate full of art from chlorophyll’

Earlier this month, chlorophyll innovation lab, the two-year-old innovation unit of chlorophyll, announced the launch of 'The Plated Project' — a collaborative platform that marries art, social impact and food-based experiences. The project joins forces with artists from around the globe to create special themed 'art-plates'. When art lovers buy one of these art-plates, they help put food on another person’s plate.

‘A plate full of art from chlorophyll’

We at afaqs! got in conversation with Chitresh Sinha, chief executive officer, chlorophyll innovation lab and founder, The Plated Project, to understand the intricacies of the project.

Chitresh Sinha
Chitresh Sinha

Sinha tells us that the insight for the initiative was to make charity scalable. He says, “We wanted to make the idea of giving to charity engaging. Charity efforts need to address both impact and awareness together. That is why we created a collaborative platform that marries art, social impact and food-based experiences.”

‘A plate full of art from chlorophyll’

“We decided to focus on creating limited-edition art that people will want to buy and picked the plate as a canvas as it can spread the message in a unique way,” he adds.

He shares that the selection of NGO works in two ways. “We either pick an issue and then work with our pool of artists to create an art-series around it and then find NGO’s working to solve the issue and include them as beneficiaries. The other way is when an NGO approaches us with their cause, we then build the series around the cause.”

“Our only criteria is that we want to support charities and organisations with a hunger related goal,” he specifies.

From the ROI perspective, he shares, “We aren’t trying to make a massive profit from this project. The pricing of the art-plates is decided keeping in mind the exclusivity of the art and to recover our costs and the artist’s fee. The profits are then donated directly to charity. So in most of our series, we are donating upwards of 50 per cent of the price of the plate to charity.”

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chlorophyll, a brand consultancy founded by Kiran Khalap, Madan Bahal and late Anand Halve in 1999, is currently collaborating with around 50 artists from India and around the world, including some from Dublin, Canada and US. Rather than a fixed one-time payment, the artists earn a fixed revenue share on each plate sold — some of whom donate their share of revenue to the causes supported by the brand.

About the selection of a theme, Sinha shares, “Once we’ve identified a cause, we look at a very novel theme that can lend itself to the creation of beautiful art that will also become a conversation starter.”

Sharing insights of one of the themes — ‘a quarter of nostalgia’ — he tells, “It is built around a goal of providing 1000 mid-day meals for an entire year for a 1000 kids. The art draws from nostalgia and happy childhood memories. One quarter of the art-plate is artistically left blank to draw attention to the fact that one in four children in India is malnourished. So you buy art about a happy memory from your childhood, which also helps put food on a child’s plate so that the child too, can create happy memories.”

Sinha also mentioned that the brand is looking at growing this initiative beyond just art-plates into a movement. “We are creating a collaborative digital platform where brands, influencers, NGOs and artists can all get connected to create unique art and experiences to make impact happen. We are partnering with chefs, artists, storytellers to create unique experiences online and offline all centered on art and food,” he signs off.

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