St+art India Foundation returns to New Delhi with the fourth edition of its Urban Street Art Festival – St+art Delhi 2016, with the highlight of this festival being its marquee project – The Lodhi Art District.
The ongoing Swachh Bharat campaign, a cleanliness initiative pioneered by the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, is given a contemporary twist through this project with the use of art to improve and maintain public spaces.The Lodhi Art District project also builds on the idea of Swachh Bharat Mission and will be initiated throughout the next two months with a focus on the involvement of RWAs (Resident Welfare Associations). The Ministry of Urban Development has partnered with the St+art India Foundation to creatively spread the message of maintain a clean society. Additional to the two month festival there shall be an ongoing project, starting with murals on the walls of Govind Puri Metro Station.
“I want to thank St+art India Foundation for bringing together artists from across the world to promote our message of a clean society. The artworks installed would discourage people from irresponsibly spitting and dropping litter on the streets, and aims to involve the community to ensure a sense of ownership and prestige amongst residents. The wall art would also promote Lodhi Colony, which has always been known for maintaining clean surroundings.” Praveen Prakash, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development and Mission Director, Swachh Bharat Mission
Work in Progress – ‘WIP’ is the Street Art Show. 31,200 sq ft. of ICD will be transformed into a walk-through installation by using 100 shipping containers, over 1000 liters paints, and 20,000 working hours by 25 Indian and International artists over a period of 2 months! and the participating artists to take on this challenge are;
Anpu (India), Agostino Iacurci (Italy), Amitabh Kumar (India), Baadal (India), Borondo (Spain), Chifumi (France), Colectivo Licuado & AlfAlfa (Uruguay), Daku (India), Dwa Zeta (Poland), Nafir (Iran), Gaia (USA), Guesswho (India), Harsh Raman (India), Harshvardhan Kadam (India), Hendrick ECB (Germany), Lek & Sowat (France), NeverCrew (Switzerland), Ranjit Dahiya (India), Reko (Australia), Shoe (Netherlands), Senkoe (Mexico) and Shilo Shiv Suleman (Bangalore).
Colectivo Licuado: Fitz (Florence Duran) and Theic (Camilo Nuñez), teamed up AlfAlfa to paint this beautiful mural. The trio from Uruguay spent a few weeks in Delhi before painting this mural. The piece is inspired by several elements, characteristics and people they found interesting in the city. Having spent a few days painting their wall, they left a small token of gratitude for the tea vendor who has a stall right next to the wall. With the help of Painter Shabbu, a Sign Painter in Delhi, they wrote “This cart belongs to Chote Lal” on the cart painted on their mural in Hindi Typography.
Chifumi is a French artist, explores various hand expressions. Through signs, morals or abstract way of communication, he builds gaps between western and oriental cultures. The mural ‘Padma’, is inspired from Padma Mudra- a symbolic Indian hand gesture to depict a lotus mixed with Khmer patterns from Cambodia where the artist currently resides.
Horus, aka Arnab Sikder, street art work is mostly focused on surreal representations of wildlife. Arnab has previously helped St+art Delhi during 2014 with creating the longest mural in India at the Tihar Jail boundary wall. His mural, titled ‘GARB AGE’, is a subtle take on consumerism and its effect on the world around us. With growing consumption demands, the amount of pollution in the world is also increasing exponentially having an adverse effect on nature and animals that reside in it. Hence, Horus calls the age we live in ‘Garb Age’ in this piece he made at a Dustbin Collection Centre in Defence Colony.
‘The Lotus’ is by Japanese street artist Suiko ( 酔狂 ). Suiko focuses on expressive letters which hold circular shapes, bold lines, and vibrant color schemes. His style also resembles Chinese character designs. In this piece Suiko takes the national flower of India – the lotus and re-imagines it with his signature of curved lines and Japanese characters to create this mural for the Lodhi Art District. Being a pioneer of the graffiti movement in Japan, Suiko explores newer ways of writing his name which is a constant element in all his figurative compositions.
Australian street artist Reko Rennie is an interdisciplinary artist who explores his Aboriginal identity through contemporary mediums. Rennie’s art incorporates his association to the Kamilaroi people, using traditional geometric patterning that represents his community.For this festival he paints “Original Aboriginal”
Anpu Varkey continues to push her boundaries as an artist by exploring newer forms in her work, like this mural in Lodhi Colony titled ‘Lava Tree’. From the deep recesses of a dreamscape, perpetuating the flow of lava, the tree posits to consume the entire building, shadowing the menace of our minds. Standing tall in Lodhi Art District, this mural can be found at block no. 14, Lodhi Colony.
Bordalo works at the WIP and paints another beautiful piece on the containers.
Harsh Raman paints a colourful piece at the WIP. We just love the peace, colour and smile.
Iranian artist Nafir paints about womens rights in the eastern part of the world. Living in Tehran, he feels that Iran and India are places where women are subjugulated as culture or traditional thought can cast a shadow on women. This can be found in the lodhi Colony.
Nevercrew is a Swiss duo whose work examines the human condition and especially the relationship between mankind and nature and of mankind and its nature. In Lodhi Colony they painted a colourful meteorite with an astronaut on top of the wall with colourful rays bursting to the ground. The astronaut atop the wall is a metaphor for someone who can see things from a different perspective, as a silent viewer of a larger picture. In this case, he is a witness to all the daily activities of Block 9 Lodhi colony.
Dead Dahlias by Street Artist Amitabh Kumar can be found Block 10, Meharchand market in Lodhi Colony. This mural is informed by the historical context of the site and the graphic possibilities that it opened. The root of the image is a story. When the pandava’s lost the first game of dice, they were exiled to Khandavaprastha- the city of ruins. Krishna – who accompanied them for the exile – performed some magic, and overnight Khandavaprastha turned into Indraprastha – The city of Gods.
“This city is made of magic, which is now crumbling apart. Through this intervention I’d like the viewer to catch its crumbling pieces and vanish.” Amitabh Kumar
Rakesh Kumar painted his wall titled ‘Fusion Art’, this mural by is dedicated to Gond art, which is native to Central India, and can be found opposite Khanna Market (near Golden Bakery), Block 14, Lodhi Colony.
Shekhawati painting (miniature art) by Mahendra Pawar and his team from Samode, Rajasthan. This wall is in continuation of St+art India Foundation’s endeavour of being inclusive of indigenous art forms along with international street artists to create India’s first Public Art District. This beautiful mural can be found opposite Khanna market in Lodhi Colony.
Catch the other murals here as they come in. This looks like its going to be another great festival in Delhi.
Photo courtesy of Akshat Nauriyal