Travel

Lodhi Art District: Explore Art on Streets.

Something’s fishy here.

Lodhi Art District

Address:  Between Khanna Market and Mehar Chand Market

Nearest Metro Station: Jor Bagh or INA Metro Station

How to Reach: Take Auto-rikshaw for Lodhi Colony. Buses also ply on this route.

 Opens: 24 Hours

Photography:  Allowed

What’s inside?

Big art, big creations and big ideas are climbing all over Lodhi colony’s walls and we took a detour to it.

Lodhi Art District, India’s first public art district, is a benchmark for rest of India. St+art 2016 grazed new heights as it brought together the first ever public art district in India—Lodhi Art District.

Lodhi Colony has been transitioned by a motley mix of artists. In conjunction with the Swacch Bharat mission, Lodhi Art District sees the intervention of public art and heritage of the city lived in.

Lodhi Art District is where 25 artists painted the walls of the colony and re-invigorated the iconic colony. It focuses on the idea of ‘art for everyone’ with the prime objective of having a positive impact on the society and also reaching out to wider audiences.

This will promote clean cities and Street Art form which is relatively new in India. Lodhi Art District has certainly raised the bar in developing and improving cityscapes with street art. The Public Art District paradigm should be replicated across India. Hope our urbanites are listening!

Why should you visit?

  • Location for photography. Visit if you are good at it.
  • The art and all is only if you like embracing it. The other houses are in shambles.
  • The place is less crowded, not really a place to explore.
  • People usually spend only about an hour here. Visit if you have spare time to walk around the colony as the wall art is spread over different blocks.

Meanwhile on the walls:

Dead Dahlias

Created by Amitabh Kumar, this is what the artist had to say about the work: “This mural is informed by the historical context of the site and the graphic possibilities that it opened. The root of the image is a story. It goes like this—When the Pandava’s lost the first game of dice, they were exiled to Khandavaprastha—the city of ruins.

Krishna, who accompanied them for the exile, did some magic, and overnight Khandavaprastha turned into Indraprastha, The City of Gods. This city is made of magic, which is now crumbling apart. Through this intervention, I’d like the viewer to catch its crumbling pieces and vanish.”

 

Where: Block 10

The Tourist

The inspiration for this wall comes from the social media/smart-phone revolution. While working in Lodhi colony, they observed how a lot of people came daily to click pictures of the murals and the ongoing work of the artists, taking selfies and group shots, or posing for fashion shoots. So the artists decided to turn the wall around on the viewer and comment as a comment on the selfie generation.

Where: Block No. 15

Amma

For his wall in Lodhi Colony, Indian artist Blaise Joseph chose to make the portrait of a mother figure who has diverse manifestations. As mother nature, she is carrying the memories of lost lands- in an urban context, our cities, which are becoming concrete jungles are inhabited by people who are all, in some way, migrants, and hence the concrete jungle reminds them of their own mothers and mother nature represented in forests and agricultural lands, whom they have been compelled to leave behind.

She also represents indigenous communities who are pollinators and can sustain ecological diversity with the knowledge they possess, yet who are forced to be displaced from their homelands.The mother painted in this artwork is in the image of Blaise’s own mother who currently resides in Kerala.

Where: Block No. 10

From your strength, I weave beauty

In Delhi, The Fearless Collective led by Shilo Shiv Suleman collaborated with Sewing New Futures to bring to visibility to communities that have traditionally engaged in prostitution in Najafgarh. Every winter, a thick blanket of fog descends over Delhi, casting everything in a misty invisibility blanket of white. Early in the morning and late at night, the most unrecogniZed inhabitants of the fog emerge. In the soft pink corridors of Lodhi colony, two women sit side by side.

On the left side, an older woman steps out of the mist. A struggle has carved its lines into her face as she navigates the night inside her. On the other side, her daughter pulls this fog out of the dark sky and weaves it into alchemical threads of gold, creating a new future for them both. Fearless.

Where: Block No. 9

Padma

In a mural called Padma, Chifumi blends together the Padma Mudra—a symbolic hand gesture to depict a lotus—and Khmer patterns from Cambodia, where she currently resides. Padma was one of the first artworks that kicked off the Lodhi Art District project.

Where: Block 8

Black girl with hat

NAFIR’s work is influenced by traditional Iranian art and culture and focuses on social issues. He has also worked around themes of Women empowerment in his work, in Iran and across the world.

Where: Block No. 7

Recommendations: Want to see the art? Visit the Lodhi Colony.

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Sonam Rajput
Sonam Rajput is a student of Education at Central Institute of Education, University of Delhi. She is a foodie and enjoys going on historical walks and imagining the world that had been. She hopes to keep her love for history in tandem with her passion for travel and unravel cultures, and experiences while doing so.

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