Imagine a 24-feet installation cleaning the filthy waters of the Yamuna. A Delhi-based artist, Gigi Scaria has created a Leaning Tower of Pisa-like structure by the river to purify its waters and serve as a fountain.
Made out of aluminum and supported by a 10-feet iron rod, the installation, titled The Fountain of Purification, is part of the Yamuna-Elbe: Public.Art.Outreach project at the Golden Jubilee Park near the Old Yamuna Bridge. Launched on Wednesday, the project, centred on the idea of creating ecologically sustainable rivers, displays functional artworks by Indian and German artists.
Scaria’s artwork has four floors. There’s a big tank embedded at the water front that collects the water from the river. “The tank has three layers of filtration. That’s the main purification part,” he explains.
Once the water gets cleansed through the tank, it revolves inside the installation and splashes up at height of 50 feet. “The splashing is also symbolic of what Hindus do during pujas for purification of the soul,” says Scaria, who built the structure in a month.
The project has been co-curated by Ravi Agarwal, an Indian artist-environmentalist from Delhi, and Till Krause, a well-known land artist from Hamburg. While Scaria’s installation addresses the Yamuna, Krause takes up the cause for the Elbe river in Hamburg.
Ecologists and artists think this marks the coming of age of activism art in the city. “I see a shift from old technologies to new creative ideas for the cause. We should never forget that where the system starts to collapse, art starts flourishing,” says Vandana Shiva, ecologist. Artist Vibha Galhotra, 33, adds, “It’s very good to see a project that everyone can relate to, and get inspired by.”
Other Yamuna cleaning drives
In October last year, before the Commonwealth Games, students from various schools city joined hands to clean the Yamuna
The MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) and the DJB (Delhi Jal Board) are driving the Yamuna Action Plan II, involving installation of new sewers and setting up of sewage treatment plants.
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