The Lotus Project

Abstract or Summary of Project

Aims

This project aims to create awareness about water pollution and encourage people to make a change in their lives on a basic level. I decided to take a different approach and bring in the idea of the importance of water in Hinduism and therefore the need to protect it.

My target audience was therefore the Hindu community, aged 18 to 30, as they are the future that can carry these ideas forward. They need to be reminded of the connect between Hinduism and water so they understand the need to protect it from pollution. Religion is something fundamental that we all grow up with. Protecting the environment and specifically water conservation is one of the issues of greatest importance today, and so this project tries to draw a link between them.

Process and More Details

Introduction

Water in Hinduism is believed to have spiritually cleansing powers. All water is considered to be sacred, such as the rivers Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Sarasvati, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri. The water of the Ganga is thought to purify Hindus and so it is believed that drinking it cleanses sins. The Ganga is a river, a mother, a goddess, a tradition and a culture.

Hinduism encompasses a variety of beliefs and rituals but one thing that remains common is the idea of purity and avoiding pollution. Pilgrimage sites are usually located on riverbanks, coasts and mountains. Funeral grounds are by rivers and ashes after cremation are released into the holy rivers. During rituals and prayers, water is consumed and touched to various parts of the body. All large Hindu temples are home to temple tanks. The list goes on and on; the importance of water in Hinduism is clearly tremendous.

Message

The project creates links between three cycles – the cycle of life, the cycle of rebirth and the cycle of water.

Snow melts in the Himalayas, feeds the rivers and then the water evaporates and comes down as rain, creating life.

Hinduism speaks of the idea of rebirth, or the Samsara cycle, which literally means “to flow on”, just as water itself does. According to Samsara, there are six bodies that Hindus pass through in the cycle of life, death and rebirth: aquatic, plant, reptile and insect, bird, animal and human. Water keeps this cycle alive.

Awareness is the most important when it comes to environmental issues. This project therefore aims to create awareness about water pollution. It is not commercially driven to encourage donations and so on. It merely attempts to teach the viewer about the connection between water and Hinduism; with the objective of creating an impact that encourages the viewer to want to learn more about the issue and what they can do about it.

Logo

The lotus was chosen as the logo for this project because of its importance in Hinduism and its connection to water. According to Hindu belief, when Vishnu slept in the primordial waters, a lotus flower emerged from his navel and in its folds was a cosmic egg in which Brahma the creator was asleep. As Brahma stirred, creation began to unfold. New worlds, new gods and new life appeared. Therefore the lotus in water represents the cycle of life; and this depends on the cycle of water. The lotus can also be related to the cycle of rebirth or Samsara, as the plant stage can be represented by the lotus.

Style and Colour

The colour palette consists of black, brown and blue. Black represents space and the universe from which life emerged. Brown is a representation of growth and fertility and therefore life.

The flow of the typography mimics the flow of water.

The style of illustrations is an interpretation of the Madhubani style of art from India. Madhubani paintings depict nature and Hindu religious motifs  and so this style was chosen. All space is filled with floral, animal and bird motifs and geometrical designs.

Deliverables

Stop Motion Animation

A short film was created to convey the connection between the water cycle and the idea of Samsara, within which we see the life cycle of the lotus. This was done through stop motion animation using sand as a representation of fertility.

Illustrated Book

I created an illustrated book depicting the cycle of water and how it generates the cycle of life in the form of the life cycle of the lotus. The tangible effect of a book was brought out by using textured paper. Transparent paper was used to show the rain.

Virtual Book

Click on the link above to access.

Packaging Design

The next deliverable is a packaging design. It consists of a glass container with lotus seeds that are to be grown. The purpose is to show the receiver the cycle of growth of the lotus with the help of water. The package contains instructions on how to grow the seeds as well as the message of the campaign.

The use of sand was to bring about consistency in colour and theme throughout the deliverables as sand was used in the stop motion and brown in the illustrated book. It is a representation of growth and fertility and therefore life, as well as the sand of the beds of the sacred rivers such as the Ganga.

URL(s) of Video or Trailer

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