Taking off at a point where words start to seem like a rhetoric, the works of art at Art Park Bengaluru held at Ravindra Kalakshetra on J.C. Road, drove the message home. Art Park in its first outing of the year, chose heritage as its theme wherein the participating artists reflected on it in their distinct styles.
If artist Sudhirs live masterful rendition of Heritage Beku took on the form of Lord Ganesha, the up and coming K. Gajanan engaged with the theme through his depicting of seasons of Bengaluru.
Shan Re evoked the happy memories of her visits to Cubbon Park through her Nocturnal Blooms series that was on display. Raviraja K. offered a picture-postcard vista of Shivaganga Hills, a popular getaway for trekking enthusiasts, in his work whereas his friend on Gangu Gowdas watercolour landscapes in a bright palette were nothing less than a dream.
Art Park was born 2014 ago with the intention of taking art to the public. It is held on the first Sunday of every month at the Sculpture Garden of Ravindra Kalakshetra. Anybody can walk in and watch artists paint on the spot and also buy paintings.
With the preservation of heritage becoming a moot point in the last few years, Art Park collaborated with Heritage Beku, an organisation of concerned citizens advocating the cause. Around 35 artists from the city participated in Art Park.
Architects Naresh Narasimhan and Sathya Prakash Varanashi, Priya Chetty-Rajagopal of Heritage Beku, Latha Reddy, Chairperson of Deccan Heritage Foundation, artist G Jeyakumar and artist SG Vasudev, the force behind Art Park raised some pertinent points at the event.
A lot of people ask me whats wrong with knocking off the old. Why do you stick along to old structures, let us make new buildings. But if you do that you will not have any pride in the city.
When I ask people what is the first image that comes to your mind when I say Bangalore, young people particularly say, UB City, said Narsimhan.
He said that building alone dont make up heritage, Spaces, lakes, greenery also constitute living heritage. Thinking people, artists, writers need to come together to talk about the issue because unless you sing a song, nobody is going to listen. Whatever little is left belongs to Bangalore and we have been telling the government to pass the Bengaluru Heritage Preservation and Regulation Bill soon, added Narsimhan.
Recalling her time in Indian Foreign Service, former bureaucrat Latha Reddy said people across the world had enormous respect for our culture that made her feel so proud. We dont have respect for our culture, but still we need to keep making efforts to preserve our heritage.
Highlighting the need for sustained efforts, Varanashi exhorted people to make that squirrels contribution to keep it going.
At the event, hand-painted calendars were also available for sale. Like every December, Art Park came out with the new years calendars printed on drawing sheets which are then hand-painted by the artists on the spot. The heritage-themed calendars will be available in the February edition of Art Park as well.