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I love Gurgaon: How the city’s changing canvas stirs the soul of an artist

The ever-changing landscape of Gurgaon influences the state of mind of an artist, which, in turn, finds expression is his/her work

I Love Gurgaon Updated: May 23, 2017 14:11 IST
Sangeeta Kumar Murthy
Sangeeta Kumar Murthy
Hindustan Times
Gurgaon,I love Gurgaon,urbanised sectors
Gurgaon is a malleable city as it comfortably harbours villages, urbanised sectors, malls and Cyber parks. (Sanjeev Verma/HT Photo)

The transformation of Gurgaon from a dusty town to a metropolis has coincided with my evolution as an artist. The city has changed figuratively and its spirit has also evolved with arrival of migrants from across the country and even abroad. For any city to develop and support art forms, a new energy, new space and a fresh set of patrons is needed and I found all that in abundance in Gurgaon.

A huge part of an artist’s life is his immediate surrounding as it influences his frame of mind which, in turn, is reflected in his work. This is the reason why I love Gurgaon.

The transformation of this city — from being a rural town to an industrial city and thereafter an IT hub has had a drastic influence on me. The architecture introduced by builders, newer shapes and urban forms inspired my paintings. Though Gurgaon, as we see it today, is an extension of the vision of its planners, government agencies and builders, through my art I have tried to project the city as one not just made of concrete but having a fixed form, a life of its own.

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Gurgaon is a malleable city as it comfortably harbours villages, urbanised sectors, malls and Cyber parks. There is harmony in its soul and it gels well with its physical form. It is this natural bonding and harmony between the towering structures and the people inhabiting the city that inspired me as a painter.

The numerous malls and towering structures dotting the landscape offer an insight into the city. (HT File Photo)

Sudden changes to the city, a seemingly endless stream of development and construction activities affected me deeply as a creative artist and painter. The city always remains in a state of flux and while the man on the street may only see the dust generated by construction sites, for an artiste, it represents the ever-changing canvas of the city.

To understand the nuances of the city, one has to keep one’s ears to the ground and be a keen observer. In other words, put one’s soul into it.

While there are only a handful of art galleries in Gurgaon, the city has numerous malls and these offer an insight into the city’s life. Though the towering structures dotting the cityscape stand motionless, I see them as living beings.

All the development that I have seen over the years is quite relatable to my own career. When I moved to the city I was a homemaker, but with time and support of my husband I went on to become an artist. My evolution is very similar to that of the city — from the dusty, barren lands to a millennium city.

For me, the best part about Gurgaon is the way it dazzles at night. Especially, the view of the Cyber City and the highway from atop one of the many high-rises that dot Gurgaon. It makes you feel like you are in another country altogether. As a resident, it also makes you feel proud of the city’s transformation.

I stay in Sushant Lok 1 and am surrounded by a studio that caters to my passion for art and a garden. Something that I have noticed over a period of time is that Gurgaon residents, across all age groups, have begun to understand the importance of art and appreciate the same.

I feed off the city’s aura and the infectious energy of residents to keep my passion for art alive. Many artists have either shifted to or built their studios in Gurgaon, enriching the city’s art space.

(Sangeeta Kumar Murthy has been conferred with Kala Ratna, National Women’s Award and the Best Artist Award in Haryana for her contribution to Indian Art.)

First Published: May 23, 2017 10:18 IST