SARAH AHMAD | 9 OCTOBER, 2019
Creating Freedom in Delhi
The city of Delhi awakens everyday to a plethora of art
The world is turning upside down, things that we never imagined could occur are transpiring now, people we never thought would grow apart are becoming nemeses, things we thought would sustain are being diminished, demons are being hailed, goodness is being buried, and a hailstorm of division, instability and discord awaits. All of us in some way or another are becoming a tiny part of this larger plan, with heads being filled with lies, moments becoming handicaps to saffron hued distractions, and some of us finding our bigoted voices in this entrapment of religion, intolerance and fear. Such will be the downfall of humanity, the end of unfailing hope and the demise of absolute freedom of mind, body and soul.
For those of us who cannot voice their opinions in newsrooms and primetime yelling matches on news channels, often escape this grim looming prophecy through moments of art. So, turn off that news channel, step out of your box and go see some art. The doers and followers of art instilled in us that the world is still a good place, that people haven’t lost their touch with life and some of us are still dreamers, poets, idealists.
The city of Delhi awakens everyday to a plethora of art, art on walls, art in alley ways, art in beautifully laid out galleries, art in words, voices and actions. Abandon that idiot box, wake up early one Saturday to soak in some sun, sky and art – walk down the vibrant art district of the capital with Street Art India, carry back a satchel of invigorating stories, colourful glimpses of art on walls and learn about the magical transformation of a part of the city solely through art. This Curated Tour of the Lodhi Art District will engage the public and introduce them to a new format of experiencing contemporary art in the city and provide an insight into the historical aspects of the location, the stories behind the project and the murals.
150 Years of Gandhi - Lalit Kala Akademi Galleries
In another part of the city, a group of talented, skilled artisans are coming together to bring us closer to the days when the smell and sight of moulded clay in roadside shops, in hidden pantries and among lush nurseries in greener and quieter neighbourhoods used to draw us towards beautifully sculpted pieces of simplicity – clay, earth, terracotta. The Delhi Blue Pottery Trust hosts the Terra Fest 2019, an amalgamation of works by Terracotta Artists of India at the Triveni Kala Sangam located at Tansen Marg in Delhi.
Talking about history, the unflagging hope of freedom and multiple episodes of visual pieces, each saying something about Gandhi’s place before Independence and the importance of his ideas and vision in today’s world, Gandhi – through the eyes of Artists is an exhibition that commemorates 150 years of MK Gandhi and his philosophy. The show opens to public in the cultural arcade of the city, paintings enveloped in a well laid out gallery, leading one to rooms, floors and chambers unveiling Indian art and history. Curated by RN Singh and Uma Nair, this Exhibition, presented by the National Academy of Art, in association with Progressive Art Gallery and Sir JJ School of Art, Mumbai, brings together many greats of Indian Contemporary Art as well as emerging artists at the Lalit Kala Akademi in New Delhi. Workshops like the Painting Camp on the theme Gandhi and Papier Mache Workshop convened by Sharad Kumar are some sub-plots part of this ongoing exhibition.
Art can be our distraction, or it can be our purpose. We can choose to put down that phone, turn off that TV and go out and listen to, look at and become part of a larger, creative journey towards freedom and amity, through beautiful thoughts and things that we are surrounded by every day, yet we choose to ignore. When we turn away from vile forces, sectionalism and bureaucracy only then we can clearly see the light of day, only then we can see healthy spaces for everyone to be a part of, think independently, and arenas for people to share and create personal stories without any barriers, fear or boundaries.
150 years of Gandhi is on till 22 October.
. Curated Tour at the Lodhi Art District with St+Art India – October 12th and 19th, November 9th and 23rd 10am-12:30pm. The walks will take place two Saturdays every month till March 2020. Walk starts at India Habitat Centre, Lodi Road, New Delhi.
. Terra Fest 2019 by Delhi Blue Pottery Trust, October 11th-16th, 10am-8pm, at the Triveni Kala Sangam, Tansen Marg, New Delhi.
. 150 years of Gandhi – Through the Eyes of Artists, at the Lalit Kala Akademi Galleries, Rabindra Bhavan, New Delhi, on view till the 22nd of October, from 11:00am-7:00pm