Read time: 12 minutes, 6 seconds
Jonathan Foyle explores the rich and constantly evolving creativity of silversmith Manasi Depala and how cross-cultural influences leave indelible marks on her work.
When Manasi Depala, a young and engaging British silversmith from Leicester declares “I’m from Mumbai. A lot of inspiration comes from that heritage”, there’s plenty to unpack.
‘Anglo-Indian culture’ could mean many things. The subcontinent, rich in monumental evolutions of the Hindu, Greco-Roman, Islamic and Buddhist worlds across two millennia, was provided with undiluted British influences as a nineteenth and twentieth-century imperial dominion. India has familiar relics of Britain in the Georgian mansion that survives as the Governor’s Residence in Hyderabad; a high-street of Surrey vernacular threading through the cool northern mountain capital of Shimla; the Victorian Gothic of George Gilbert Scott’s many soaring public urban buildings, and modern streamlining from the early age of fast cars and poured concrete. Into Britain came India’s ebony, ivory and silver furniture, brilliant manuscripts, silks and jewels galore. India inspired the mughal onion domes of the Brighton pavilion, the astonishing traditionally-built Shri Swaminarayan Mandir temple at Neasden in North-West London and a cuisine of rich fragrance we have embraced with two big spoons.