“How far is it?”
” You are almost there, walk straight ahead; you can’t miss it.” The autorickshaw driver pointed towards a tree-lined street flanked by blocks of buildings.
It is a bright sunny day in Delhi and I am going to see India’s first public art district at the Lodhi Colony. This ambitious project by the St+art India Foundation, a non-profit organisation that works on art projects in public spaces kicked off in December 2015. The two- month long art festival had local and international street artists putting up murals and installations to popularise the concept of ‘Art for All.’ I came to know about it through a colleague who also suggested a curated walking tour. It would be interesting to have someone point out the nuances of the art to an ignoramus like me but I would rather wander on my own and explore.
Lodhi Colony is a government residential colony. It is centrally located and the buildings present a wonderful facade. Most of the artwork is seen over the walls between Khanna Market and Meherchand Market. There are no signposts; one can walk around and spot the murals leisurely.
This wall with the bright colored birds by the Mexican artist Senkoe was dazzling. Feathered friends seem to be a favorite subject for many street artists. Having seen some of his other works I can now make out his signature style:
Right across is the mural by artist Suiko titled The Lotus. I like the way the artists have made use of the archways and windows of the building.
The next block has a lady on the wall:
Now I am looking up and see an astronaut sitting on top of a meteorite. The astronaut represents someone who can see the larger picture or look at things from a different perspective. Interesting!
Here is the calligraffiti by the Dutch artist Neils Shoe Meulman:
Sans serifs no letters
and no words to read
sans words no signs
no names in the streets
just rows of buildings
and gardens sans weeds.
From the painted poem I walked over to the next wall which reminded of a classroom: happy children, birds, flowers, and fish.
Moving further I see more blues and fish:
The sight of the blazing pink walls stopped me in my tracks.
I could not understand the abstract art. The St+art site informs that the duo chose the colour to figuratively mark the feminine element in a public space. Empowering art!
Midway through the ‘art therapy’ hunger pangs forced me to take a break.