This mermaid in a pothole in Bengaluru is taking on the civic authorities

This Bengaluru-based artist uses potholes as his canvas to highlight civic issues.
Bengaluru-based artist Baadal Nanjundaswamy’s latest art installation.(Picture courtesy: Baadal Nanjundaswamy’s Facebook page)
Bengaluru-based artist Baadal Nanjundaswamy’s latest art installation.(Picture courtesy: Baadal Nanjundaswamy’s Facebook page)
Updated on Oct 14, 2017 02:28 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Bengaluru | By HT Correspondent

There’s a ‘mermaid’ on the streets on Bengaluru and she has a message for the civic authorities: fix the dangerous potholes.

A Bengaluru-based artist has turned a pothole near Cubbon Park Junction into an art installation, with a woman dressed as a mermaid protesting the poor condition of roads in the city that have led to fatal accidents.

Baadal Nanjundaswamy, who has previously highlighted civic issues with visual-3D art, painted the street around the pothole on Friday to make it appear like a pond with a mermaid sitting next to it. He roped in Kannada actress Sonu Gowda, who has modelled for his earlier campaigns, for the art.

Four people in Bengaluru have died since the beginning of October allegedly while trying to manoeuvre around potholes. A woman, 21, was killed on Tuesday after the two-wheeler she was riding pillion on was hit by a truck when the rider swerved to avoid a pothole.

The issue has turned into a political slugfest, with the Opposition BJP blaming the ruling Congress government for the condition of public infrastructure in city that hosts India’s IT industry.

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah has blamed heavy monsoon rains for the damaged roads and asked the civic agency, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, to fix about 15,000 potholes urgently.

The 37-year-old alumnus of Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts has drawn the attention of civic authorities with his ‘art installations’ in the past. Last year, he got a ‘princess’ to ‘kiss a frog’ using a pothole as his canvas on the outskirts of Bengaluru. Before that, Nanjundaswamy placed a replica of a crocodile in the middle of a pothole, which was subsequently fixed by authorities. He also used an open manhole to create Yamaraj, which, when viewed from above looked as if the Hindu god of death was waiting to swallow commuters.

“I am an artist and this is a small way of contributing to the betterment of society,” Nanjundaswamy told HT last year.

Read | Crocodile ‘rescuer’ and other interesting protests that shook the world

His campaigns are self-funded and he has created at least 25 art installations based on civic issues.

Here’s a look at Nanjundaswamy’s other campaigns:

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Thursday, October 21, 2021