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Civic dialogue through public art in Delhi

Gupta is the President of Delhi Art Society and has been crusading to make Delhi into a burgeoning hub for public art for more than 15 years now.

Published: 16th February 2020 08:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th February 2020 08:23 AM   |  A+A-

Artworks by Farhat Jamshed,  Mukul Panwar’s Cityscape

Artworks by Farhat Jamshed, Mukul Panwar’s Cityscape

Artist Neeraj Gupta’s ongoing curated exhibition can be viewed as a blueprint for public art in Delhi. The third edition of his Sculpt For Delhi comes with a tagline that’s worth reading, “The show is a prelude to the making of the master plan for public art for Delhi.”

Gupta is the President of Delhi Art Society and has been crusading to make Delhi into a burgeoning hub for public art for more than 15 years now. In his opinion, the city has a number of locations apt for installing artworks.  

“The lawns under the Dhaula Kuan flyover, roundabout in Lutyens’ zone, outdoor areas of various malls, exit and entry points at Indira Gandhi International Airport and so on are fit for this project,” he says.

The artist has sent a proposal to Delhi Urban Art Commission with various suggestions on this initiative. He says, “Delhi Art Society has made a policy document which enlists how funds for the public art could be used. The document has been sent to the government.

Artist Neeraj Gupta

It includes names of the artists, locations and a section on the allocation of funds.

"As artists, we just want this policy document to be approved so that work is streamlined for many creatives. It is under consideration with Ministry of Urban Development. But it appears that things have slowed down for some time now,” he says, sounding a bit disappointed. 

According to Gupta, every year a number of students pass out from the many art institutions in Delhi, but only handful take up arts full-time.

“Many a times a promising artist takes up career as a teacher or simply leave arts for not making the ends meet. And while in teaching they don’t get enough time to pursue their passion for the arts. This show displays works of impactful art, in tune with the conscience of the city.”

Mukul Panwar’s Cityscape featuring a marble sparrow perched atop a suggested landscape of a modern city, points at the declining rate of house sparrows in Delhi. Artist Shovin Bhattacharjee places his own figure in his installation.

“The figure is looking at the city of multi-storeyed buildings. Delhi is an inspiration for this,” he reasons. 

The artist urges city-dwellers to be more sensitive to nature. He says, “I have realised that in the race of urbanisation, we are becoming greedy by taking a lot of space from the nature. There are tall buildings at the cost of our nature which contradicts our very own vision of green Delhi.”

Till: February 17At: Visual Art Gallery, IHC

Artworks

Mukul Panwar’s Cityscape featuring a marble sparrow perched atop a suggested landscape of a modern city, points at the declining rate of house sparrows in Delhi. Shovin Bhattacharjee places his own figure in his installation. “This show displays works of impactful art, in tune with the conscience of the city,” says artist Neeraj Gupta.



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