Delhi’s diversity and history through the eyes of artists

Capturing the diverse moods & beauty of Delhi is just like capturing the soul of the world. Recent art exhibition of Delhi’s Sahitya Kala Parishad provides an in-depth overview of Delhi’s diversity

NH photo by Girish Shrivastava
NH photo by Girish Shrivastava

Girish Shrivastava

Delhi is as old and intrigue as the epic Mahabharata. There is nothing as a unique culture in Delhi. The recent art exhibition of Delhi’s Sahitya Kala Parishad(SKP) “Delhi – Meri Dilli: Imaging Delhi” is the first-ever initiative by SKP to provide an in-depth overview of Delhi’s diversity through the works of a cross section of artists from Delhi. “Every artist in the exhibition has tried to understand, appreciate explore and capture different aspects of Delhi in his/her own way,” informs Vineet Paliwal , the curator of the exhibition at the capitals’ Shridharani Gallery.

Delhi has been full of contrasts and contradiction; lavish lifestyle and homeless people surviving in utter poverty, very cultured people and the uncouth romping on the roads, historical monuments at the backdrop and towering buildings of today--Delhi is home to all.

Delhi is beautiful, irresistible and memorable. Today Delhi is a soldiers’ town, a politician’s town, journalist’s town, diplomat’s town, a Tamil town, a Bengali town, a Gujarati town, a kannadiga’s, Punjabi’s or Bihari’s town. There are so many ‘vihars’, ‘gardens’, ‘parks’, ‘nagars’ and ‘purs’ along with many long stretches of slums. And the truth is that Delhi now belongs to everyone who lives here but the irony is that no one belongs to Delhi!

As Mir pointed out, “jo shakl nazer aayi, tasveer nazar aayi , let’s see how the artists offered in the exhibition. Iconic senior photo – journalist Raghu Rai’s photo wheat threshing (1966) in front of the monument Humayun Tomb captures a glimpse of the real Delhi where both tradition and modernity meet with elan.

Bhanu Prakash shows townscape with ghetto of houses and surroundings in Empathy. Chand Kumar Doliya brings an aerial key To Delhi’s traffic problems in his Metro life where Manisha Manocha’s photographs show graffiti life and Ravan heads, yet another realm of Delhi’s life. Madhu Rani shows typical Delhi’s traffic in her serigraphy and etching where Nitin Gera shows illuminating Rashtrapati Bhavan, Pinki Goel’s Chawdi Bazaar and Pradeep Vadher’s urban landscape and Pragati Gupta’s cityscape are very much related to Delhi’s life. Rajesh Prasad Srivastava’s monkey-shaped parliament is a strong political satire.

Ritika Sharma shows Metro and Sankar Nag brings consumer life of the city. Vijendra S Vij’s drawings revolve around archival life of Ghalib. Arpana Caur’s paintings adds up some aspects of spirituality whereas Girish Chandra Behera’s acrylic-on-newspaper is highly suggestive of the trials of commuting in the metro city.

Annu Gupta’s relief prints fetch a beautiful visual feast of the city life with its architectural marvel and nature. Her etching works show views of city from the terrace including hanging clothes to dry in the sun and a monkey seated on the top of endless. Dattatraya Apte’s alluring print work shows a forgotten Mughal era tomb of Abdul Bahadur Rahim Khan, son of the great Bairam Khan.

Shaily Gupta’s photographs of Hall no 6 Pragati Maidan shows another architectural marvel displaying development of Delhi over the years. “The exhibition is the result of a month-long hard work of the participating artists and the Parishad”, concludes Vineet Paliwal.

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