by Sukanya DebOct 11, 2022
Greater Than Gin is a modern Indian craft gin that recently hosted an event aimed to change a “glitch in history” represented by a 1751 artwork by William Hogarth's titled Gin Lane. Brimming with death, disease, and disgust, Gin Lane aimed to point out the evils of gin-drinking, becoming iconic in no time. Now, 271 years later, Greater Than Gin aims to popularise the drink through reimagining Gin Lane through fresh eyes.
Aparajita Ninan, Co-Founder and Creative Head for Nao Spirits, said of the initiative: “We are a young brand with big plans of leading the way for gin into the future, in India and around the world. We always say, Greater Than is the ‘people's gin’ - an equaliser that brings together all ages, genders, cultures, and communities, and so we did.” The team brought together five of India’s contemporary artists to redefine gin by re-addressing the most iconic work in the history of the spirit.
Priyesh Trivedi, Priya Kuriyan, Shweta Sharma, Jasjyot Singh Hans, Saswata & Susruta Mukherjee (Bob & Bobby) created their unique, modern interpretations of Gin Lane while following the basic structure Hogarth had created. The original artworks were revealed at a unique experience curated by Greater Than Gin on July 2, 2022 in Delhi, hosted by the quick-witted Abish Mathew with tunes by Ron E & Bassic Boy, and Parimal Shais & Friends. Specially curated cocktails based on each artwork were served to add to the multi-sensorial experience.
No Street For Hate by Bobb & Bobby
Illustrated here is a happy day for those who chose love over hate, equality over discrimination, and stood by their choices when it was the toughest to do so. A day when many are on the street to celebrate a new beginning, where they are again free to choose who to love, what to eat and how to live, all, with their favourite drink.
Twin brothers Bob and Bobby are filmmakers, animators and illustrators from Kolkata, who love to make art and stories out of things they see and things they don’t. They are currently writing their feature film script.
Mehfil by Jasjyot
Mehfil is a subversion of Hogarth’s Gin Lane where chaos is replaced by calm and the rigid structures are replaced by a clear, surreal, crystal landscape. In an intimate gathering of friends, time slows down, cocktails clink and laughter echoes.
Jasjyot Singh Hans is an illustrator unendingly inspired by an explosive neon mix of fashion, music and pop culture. He has a constant regard for things past and a voracity for all that is current. His work chronicles around themes of body image, sexuality and self-love.
Ginolem by Priya
Ginolem is a Hamlet not a Gimlet. Hogarth’s Gin Lane is reconceived within a lush and bountiful landscape that invites one to enter into a journey filled with revelry, chance encounters, intimate conversations and innumerable possibilities; all the things we have missed so dearly in the last two years and a half. Gin Lane here, is imagined as a place of leisure and giddy pleasure and of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, I invite you to walk into one in magical Ginolem.
Priya Kuriyan is an award-winning children’s book writer-illustrator and comics maker and chronic doodler. She has directed educational films for the Sesame street show (India) and the Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI). She lives and works in the city of Bangalore and in her spare time makes funny caricatures of its residents.
The Alley by Priyesh
The Alley is an imagined space between Hogarth’s Beer Street and Gin Lane. It’s idyllic and free of the prejudices that the original illustrations carried with them. The subjects are all in their skeletal forms to blur the class and socio-economic divide that separated beer and gin drinkers according to Hogarth. Here, they all co-exist and indulge without any stereotypes. On a deeper level, The Alley is at the edge of the street and the corner of the lane where everyone is past their mortality no matter what you drink.
Priyesh Trivedi is a self-trained visual artist from Mumbai, India. His practice largely revolves around nostalgia and subversion with ironic commentaries at popular culture and archival imagery.
A Land Which Is Greater Than by Shweta
Under the variant of ‘colours in different skins’, All creatures alike Sense of space A Verlaine victory Ranges of oddly evens An Oscar flight Under the sky with thousands of bricks of dewy sunlight, driven; Charmed energies chattering giving a toast to this united, blessed coincidence Joy is happy it stayed longer In the land which is Greater Than.
Shweta Sharma is a Mumbai-based visual artist and illustrator. She likes experimenting in the parameters of dream-drawn surrealism, emotional and subconscious juxtaposition, creature contrast and symbiotic curiosity all perceived in an array of colours drawn essentially from her Rajasthani roots.