Mythical structures of airplanes made in terracotta with colourful puppet faces peeping out, a huge paper-mache sculpture with traditional artwork, an interactive cut out of actor Amitabh Bachchan, video installations — all this and many more works of art on similar lines are going to be a part of the upcoming ‘art in public space’ programme at the Mumbai airport. Delhi art lovers got an opportunity to view these works before they fly off to Mumbai, at an event organised by Rajeev Sethi, the man who has conceptualised and spearheaded this project.
“This is going to be the biggest public art project that Indian has ever seen. It has brought together a number of noted artists, artisans, architects and designers — all working together on one theme — to interpret India,” says Sethi. Several large scale mixed media artworks have been created all over India over the last three years for this extravagant public art project. Out of the three artworks that were displayed for the Delhi audience, the Udan Khatolas sculpture, which is half bird and half machine, caught many eyeballs for its simplistic yet unique representation. “This work is an amalgamation of India’s ancient history and a flying machine,” says Sethi. Made in paper-mache and bamboo, the sculpture is painted in blue, black and white by artist Madhvi Parekh.
Another interesting work, Reappearances — Below the Tarmac, sees small airplanes crafted by potters of Molela, a village near Udaipur with miniature images of men and women. “These potters usually make images of god and goddesses and this was something very different for them,” adds Sethi. What makes the third artwork, titled Touhe, interesting is its metaphorical representation of a pagdi through architectural design — so you see a huge structure of Hawa Mahal that morphs into a male turban. The project will be up and done by September 2014 in Mumbai.