Spotlight on Lodhi Art District, New Delhi

by Koka Tarini Siddhartha

As a team, Artistik License made its second official visit to the capital earlier this month. Having seen and heard so much about India’s first art district, we were determined to visit the district even if it meant almost missing our flights back home!

The team behind this incredible open public art museum is St+Art India and the inimitable contribution of the artists. What began as a two month festival i.e., St+Art Delhi, 2016, has culminated in a larger artistic statement. The thirty murals defining the Lodhi Art District lie nestled between the Meherchand and Khanna markets.

We loved walking from one block to the next, gasping in awe every time we found a mural. This post on the Lodhi Art District features the murals we managed to find before we ran out of time. Hopefully we find the others on our next visit. A quick information disclaimer – mural descriptions are courtesy St+Art India.

Our journey began from Block 15, Lodhi Colony, and we rerouted multiple times, completing our mini-tour at Dead Dahlias.

The Tourist – We could not have begun with a more ironic mural. Baroda based artists, Avinash and Kamesh, inspired by the smart phone revolution, transformed the wall as a comment on the ‘selfie generation’.

Lady Aiko, a Japanese street artist, considered to be one of the most important female street artists, created one of her biggest murals with 15 volunteers and nearly 300 paper stencils. She painted Rani Laxmi Bai as a symbol of women empowerment.

Lava Tree – In her mural, Anpu Varkey, a New Delhi based painter and street artist, portrays a lava tree seemingly consuming the building.

The Lotus – Japanese artist, Suiko, reinterpreted India’s national flower with Japanese characters.

Colours of the Soul – Mexican muralist, Senkoe, uses birds to symbolise diversity, identity, and freedom. The birds in his mural represent the colourful diversity of the people of Lodhi colony.

Swiss duo, Christian Rebecchi and Pablo Togni aka Nevercrew, explore the relationship between man and nature in their mural. A colourful meteorite with the astronaut on top of the wall who is metaphor for someone who sees things with a different perspective; here, a silent viewer and witness of the goings-on in Lodhi colony.

Dutch artist, Niels Shoe Meulman is known to leave graffiti and calligraphic traces in his work. For St+art Delhi 2016, he combined his poetic and artistic skills to create the mural above. The poem reads,

Sans Serif No Letters

And No Words To Read

Sans Words No Signs

No Names In The Streets

Just Rows Of Buildings

And Gardens Sans Weeds

Madrid based artist, Borondo’s mural faces the Maternity Hospital of Lodhi Colony. It depicts the journey of birth and life – the river through the arch representing the journey of life and the boat which takes us through life.

Vishvaroopa Inkbrushnme needs no introduction (check out our interview with him here). His stunning mythological mural showcases the myriad manifestations of Vishnu and the commencement of the eighteen day battle of Mahabharata.

PINK – Polish duo, Karolina Zajaczkowska and Slawek ZBIOK Czajkowski aka Dwa Zeta, use abstract forms inspired by the busy but colourful streets of Delhi. The bright pink symbolises women empowerment and also makes a statement on the absence of female influence in the public space.

Katha-Crazy Twins: Chiller Champa & Boom Bhaijaan – Street artist, illustrator, and designer, Harsh Raman merges the traditional, wordless dance form of Kerala, Kathakali, with the modern wordless medium of street art, and also showcases the blend of the old and young generations.

The Facing Walls – Brazilian design and illustration duo, Douglas and Renato aka Bicicleta Sem Freio (Bicycle Without Brakes), explore the relationship between colours, shapes, and typography. These two murals, created individually and simultaneously, were inspired by local Indian flora and fauna.

We Love Delhi – French Artists Lek and Somat along with St+Art India and Hand Painted Type’s Hanif Kureshi, have painted characters resembling Sanskrit letters, which were later half-erased to depict ‘colour rain’, inspired by Holi.

Canadian artist, Li-Hill talks about climate change through his mural.

Time Changes Everything – The pseudonymous Delhi based artist, Daku, created this very clever piece playing with time and shadows that change over the course of the day.

Dead Dahlias Amitabh Kumar is a designer/artist from Delhi who now heads Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology and Bangalore’s growing street art scene, Art-in-Transit. In his mural, he draws an analogy between Delhi and the exile of the Pandavas to Khandavaprastha which ultimately turns into Indraprastha. Delhi, once a city of magic, is crumbling apart to which he draws the viewer’s attention.


We hope this post made you curious enough to read more about the Lodhi Art District and perhaps even visit it in person. We previously wrote about St+Art BLR here. You can follow St+Art India and all the artists on the various social media platforms.

 

 

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